Updated: Mar 9
Almoners Report November Period 2020
A personal thought from Bro Almoner
To those I have helped, I wish I had done more.
To those I neglected to help, I ask your understanding.
To those that helped me, a sincere and fraternal thank you
Coronavirus Epidemic - Never more appropriate than right now
Those who died yesterday - had plans for this morning.
Those who died this morning - had plans for tonight.
Don’t take life for granted, in a blink of an eye, everything changes.
So forgive often, and Love with all your heart
You may never know when you may not have that chance again.
Whilst we all know of individuals and families affected by Covid, and many people are wondering how we are, as-a-whole all faring. Members deaths are up on this time last year, and sadly over 221 brethren have been called to the Grand lodge above by this terrible disease (to date!).
‘Rest Eternal, Grant unto them, and let perpetual light shine upon them’
Update for your continued interest
There are many organisations and charities across the country dedicated to providing emotional and practical support, including the M.C.F.
The Masonic Charitable Foundation since the beginning of Covid have so far have received over 900 enquiries from Freemasons and their families and have awarded over 460 grants to more than 400 people totalling £277,354 (to date!!) and have so far have helped 50 families with respite.
The trustees of the Masonic Charitable Foundation Trust have also provided help to many brethren and their families (which is virtually instant financial support).
Dear Brethren All, may I please ask you all once again, not to be a stranger to your fellow Brethren in the Lodge, especially in these most difficult times. Being at home gives you all an opportunity to lift-up your phone and say ‘hello’. Most important to anyone living on their own, I am sure your call would be very much appreciated. (I know that If I was on my own, that I would be delighted with a friendly chat from a fellow Brethren).
Once again may I remind you that some Brethren and Widows suffer ongoing problems and those that I know to be suffering I try and help by contacting them on a regularly basis, mostly all that is ever needed is a friendly telephone call for Pastoral support.
Regrettably we are all getting older and aches and pains linger on, some ongoing conditions serve as a reminder to us all as to how vulnerable we can all be.
Most Important - Almoners Best practice
Brethren All, confidentiality will always be my priority as your Almoner and it would be most inappropriate for me ever to discuss personal conversations or actions with anyone but the individual concerned and should you request of me not to include personal details of yourself or your family that you have shared with me, would you please always confirm this request in your correspondence with me (so that it can be recorded in my file and acted accordingly upon).
Brethren, All the Widows and Companions of the Lodge have all been recently contacted by me (and I can confirm that no one has reported to me that they have contracted the dreadful Coronavirus). Everyone that I have been in contact with have asked me to thank you all for thinking of them and send their regards to you and your families.
Edited e-mail correspondence with Lodge widows.
Moira Skinner (David R.I.P)
Good morning Aubrey, all is well with me and my family, funny old times. Do hope you and your family are keeping safe also. Thank you for keeping in touch. Moira.
Mary Drury (Arthur R.I.P)
Hello Aubrey, sorry to be late in replying, as you are so very good at keeping in touch. I will be soon getting in touch with my son Ian and will give him your best regards. Best wishes to you and Barbara and your family. Mary
Eve Kirkham (Bill R.I.P)
Brethren I continue to speak on the telephone with Eve, always cheerful and most amiable and a delightful woman to converse with (we have been old friends for many years (she attended my Ladies hairdressing Salon in Winchester and I knew her husband Bill R.I.P.) She always wishes to be remembered to all Bills and hers old friends and sends her regards to all the King Aelfred Brethren.
Barbara Robinson (widow of Tom R.I.P and mother to Mike our Chaplain).
I continue regular phone calls with this Delightful lady, and once again an old friend and client of mine and of course a supporter and fully paid up member of the ‘Acorn club‘ in Winchester. She as always sends her regards to all the Brethren of King Aelfred.
Alan-Terry (Desmond R.I.P)
Thank you for your e-mail and your offer of assistance if needed. I find myself in lockdown more tedious than last year, possibly because the weather is not as good and it’s getting darker earlier and Last time I used to take an evening walk and just being out and seeing people was helpful. I continue doing some voluntary works, however I do put some books online for the Oxfam shop so this keeps me occupied on a couple of afternoons each week. I hope you and your wife are managing o.k. I think we will have this situation for some time to come. Kindest regards Lesley
Marian Flemming (Mother of David)
Regular contact on the telephone with this delightful lady that I have known personally for many years, she continues to keep cheerful in the lockdown and sends her regards to all at King Aelfred.
Sheila Price (Michael R.I.P)
Dear Aubrey, all is well here, keeping busy. I am decorating my daughter’s old bedroom so that’s keeping me out of mischief. Do hope all is well with your family and all the brethren at King Aelfred Lodge. Sheila.
Brethren, these Widows have also been lately contacted by myself; Connie Bailey (Keith R.I.P); Rita Carter (John R.I.P); Shirley Morrissey (Brian R.I.P)
Edited e-mail correspondence with K/A brethren.
W.Bro Matt Wood (Worshipful Master)
Hi Aubrey, lovely to hear from you, we are both fine thank you. Busy at work. Thank you for all that you are doing - Lodge wouldn’t be the same without you. Hope you and your family are keeping safe and well too. Sincerely and Fraternally, Matt.
W.Bro Andi Parker (Director of Ceremonies).
Hi Aubrey, thank you for your e-mails it’s always good to hear from you. Work is obviously getting busy, which I am coping with and I am working more and more each week. Other than that, all’s good in the Parker family. I do hope Barbara is now on the mend, but I know you would be giving her exceptional care! I don’t get much time for myself with work and my current University studies. Would you please offer my condolences and best wishes to Ken, he is in my thoughts. Take care and keep safe both of you. Best Wishes Andi.
W.Bro Mick Whitfield (Lodge Preceptor)
Hi Aubrey, always good to hear from you and it’s a shame that we are in another lockdown. I was just getting used to the grandchildren coming around each week after school and going to my grandson’s football on Sunday's. Never mind, let’s hope that we can get back to some sort of normality by Christmas. I trust Barbara is well again and that you are looking after her, and also looking after yourself and keeping safe. Regards Mick.
W.Bro Ian Paddy (Lodge Treasurer)
Morning Aubrey, Hope you and your family are keeping well, we are all good here thanks. Sincerely and Fraternally. Ian
W.Bro Alan Smith
Hi Aubrey, many thanks for your e-mail and I am happy to report that Donna and I are both well, although somewhat frustrated that we have to endure another lockdown. Far better to be safe than sorry though. I do hope you, Barbara and the rest of your family are keeping well. Thank you again for all you do on behalf of the membership. Kind regards, Alan.
Ps. Brethren I have sent Bro Alan an e-mail thanking him for all his help and support over the last 6 year as lodge Almoner, ‘very much appreciated’ by me.
W. Bro Derek Saunders (Lodge Mentor).
Hi Aubrey, many thanks for your e-mail, and we are all doing well under the circumstances and I am very busy with my new role as lodge mentor. Well done with your excellent work, and I have many brethren that mention to me how grateful they are for your continued support as our Almoner. All the best Derek.
My personal comment to you all — Brethren Derek Continues to assist me by keeping in touch regularly with members of the lodge for a friendly chat (particularly those members that do not have WiFi).
We personally speak most weeks and he updates me on his contacts, for which I am most grateful. He tells me that he is really looking forward to carrying out his new role as ‘Mentor of the Lodge’ and I have no doubt that he will do an excellent job.
W.Bro David Mclean (Lodge Membership Officer).
Dear Aubrey, all’s well this end. Thanks for your sterling work and care you display to all, stay safe. Kind regards. David.
W.Bro Ray Fisher .
Aubrey, thanks for your e-mail, things are o.k as far as I am concerned and I am still in very good health and up to last week I was still playing golf twice a week. I do hope I will be able to make it back to Lancashire for Christmas as that’s where all my remaining family are (otherwise it may be a very long and quite time for me). Hope things return to more normal, early in the new year where we can all meet again. Best Wishes to you and your family, S+F Ray.
W.Bro Terry Bruty
Amico Mio, Va belle Gracie oggi. Terenzo (Terry).
Bro Ken Foulkes
Brethren I have continued to have regular telephone conversations with Ken since his wife’s death and I will keep you all updated on arrangements for her memorial service (which I understand will take place sometime in the future). I was his proposer into Freemasonry and I am delighted have now been appointed his official lodge Mentor). He has informed me that although his health is not great, his daughter and son and their families are all keeping an eye on him during these most difficult times.
Bro Colin Tester
Good morning Aubrey, so nice to hear from you and I hope you and yours are all well. I may be getting mobilised soon again by the Army to help out this winter. I am still doing my voluntary first responding with the local Ambulance service and I continue to keep fit by running 5k -5 days a week. Aubrey if any of the brethren need any practical support, (I am a pretty good handyman and am always happy to help). Best Wishes to you all. Sincerely and Fraternally, Colin.
Bro Noel Grimmet
Good morning Aubrey, many thanks for your e-mail, all is well here as we start another lockdown. Let’s hope this one works and we are in better shape before Christmas. Wishing you and the family all the best. Noel.
Bro Tin Howlett.
Good morning Aubrey, thanks for your e-mail, we are all fine and trying to enjoy the Lockdown as far as its possible. I do hope you and your family are safe and well. With best wishes, Tim.
W.Bro Andy Fell.
Hi Aubrey, all’s good here thanks, hope the same with you and yours. Sincerely and Fraternally. Andy.
Bro Ian Gowers
Dear Aubrey, thank you for your message, myself and the family are well. We have just returned from holiday in Turkey (5 weeks). We are all trying to adjust to yet another lockdown. I do hope you and your family are also keeping well and keeping safe. Ian
W.Bro Noel Voice. (P.Assit.Prov.G.Master). (Chairman of the Provincial Masonic Trust).
Thanks for your concern and kind messages at this time. The Masonic charitable Trust is continually being kept busy providing assistance to those brethren who thought no circumstances of their making are finding life hard for all sorts of reasons. Jean and I are keeping well and like you trying to maintain contact with colleagues and their families. Keep up the good work - we are all appreciative of your tireless efforts. Kind regards Noel.
W.Bro Roy Quinn (P.Assit. Prov.G.Master).
My sincere thanks Aubrey, I hope all’s well with you and your family. Lin and I have enjoyed the last couple of months with visits from our family. Being back in lockdown means we will be missing their visits once again, apart from this we are all exceptionally well. Wishing you and all the brethren a safe winter and may we all be blessed with a healthy and happy future. Kindest regards Roy.
W.Bro Gordon Brakewell (North central vice chair and an old friend).
Hi Aubrey, good to hear from you, all’s well at my end. Hope the lockdown I’d not driving you too crazy and I along with many other brethren are looking forward to the day we can all meet and enjoy each other’s company. Thank you for all that you are doing to keep in touch with the brethren during these difficult times. Your contribution is worth its weight in Gold. Best wishes and take great care, Gordon.
Bro Simon Stone (Chef and King Aelfred Caterer)
For your general information Brethren, Bro Simon our caterer at the Winchester Centre has started a limited take away meals service (which is excellent and at a very modest cost) and I include his telephone number for those who might be interested 02380 - 265914, he also tells me that he also does a limited delivery service within the Winchester (but Brethren this is something you must discuss with him personally).
——— Bro Simon Update takeaway information ————-
Hi Aubrey, all good here thanks and I hope you and your family are well too. Meals are not going too bad and I think I am up to 6000 since March, so hopefully it’s helping people. I confirm that my catering hours of business are still the same, meals every Wednesday to take away 10 -12 pick up. Kind regards Simon.
W.Bro Bob Seago
Brethren no real change with Bob, (sadly he has memory loss). He seems pleased to hear from me and is he is always cheerful and sends his regards to us all at King Aelfred and informs me that he is looking forward to seeing us all again soon (sadly brethren this is most unlikely).
Bro John Wright
Greetings Aubrey, and once again thank you for your e-mails, all’s well here thanks. Last month you reported that your dear lady wife, was under the weather. I trust that she has now fully returned to good health, look after yourself. Sincerely and Fraternally, John.
W.Bro Phillip Kent-Mason
Hi Aubrey, thank you very much for your e-mail, yes we are all well here. Since the first lockdown I have been very busy working sometimes 12-14 hrs days. Dad has still been quite uncomfortable with his legs, but mum is looking after him. Thank you once again for all you do for the lodge and the brethren. Do look after yourself and I hope to see you when we are all allowed to meet again. Sincerely and Fraternally Phil.
W.Bro Peter Kent - Mason
Continue to keep in contact by telephone with Peter and his wife Jackie, always pleased to be remembered and always send their regards to all K/A members.
W.Bro Dave King
Long and as always most interesting telephone conversation with Dave and his wife Jan. (Jan is making a good recovery from her operation earlier in the year). Dave thanked me for keeping in touch and asked me to remember to record his thanks to all the brethren of King Alfred in my Almoners report for their continued support. Brethren I will of course keep you all updated as and when I hear more!
W.Bro Andy Rudge
Hi Aubrey, thank you for getting in touch and seeing how we all are. I’m still busy at the at the urgent treatment centres, so I count myself lucky that I have not been out of work during this terrible pandemic, take care. Sincerely and Fraternally.
Bro Ernie Jeffs (Assistant Secretary)
Long and most interesting telephone conversation with Ernie, he tells me that his wife Barbara and himself and his family are all keeping well during these dreadful times. He tells me that he misses his trips to Madeira, but he is looking forward to taking up his new role in the lodge as ‘’Assistant Secretary’’ when the lodge returns to normality. He has asked me to send his kindest regards to all the brethren of King Aelfred .
Brethren for your INTEREST Solomon - https://Solomon.ugle.org.uk
Brethren All, this is worth exploring while you are at home. It contains a vast amount of Masonic information that is equally beneficial to newer members and more experienced members alike. On the subject of on-line communications, for those of you that use Social media, King Aelfred Lodge has a WhatsApp group. Please speak to Bro Secretary for more information, if you are more interested.
Finally, Brethren should you know of any Brother or Widow that might need my help our assistance, particularly in these sad and distressing times, please let me know and I will contact them and help if I can.
M.C.F update for your interest - Get a Professional prepared WILL at no cost
For those of you that are thinking about writing a will, but uncertain about where to start, the M.C.F has put together a detailed yet easy to understand guide with everything you need to know about writing a will from understanding the terminology to useful tips and areas to consider and to make it possible for everyone to have a will the M.C.F works with the ‘’ Goodwill partnership ‘’.
Preparing for the future may seem daunting for most people, but with the help of fully Qualified solicitors who offer you impartial advice, you can be assured that your wishes will be carried out after your bereavement. Masonic FREEPHONE no 0800 035 6090 or email@example.com
Once again Companions, my thanks to those that have been helping me though these difficult times. God Bless you all and your families, keep safe and do take great care.
‘Now that we are Hopefully returning to some NORMALITY, would you please remember to read my ‘Brother to Brother‘ letter, which is always attached to my Monthly Almoners report for your interest.
Ps. Brethren please note that I have also decided to keep in touch with you all more regularly on the King Aelfred Members Forum —WhatsAPP—. Should those of you not connected, please contact Bro Sam Secretary for assistance).
'' Please remember to help me, to help you ''
Yours Sincerely and Fraternally
D A Monahan. (King Aelfred Lodge No. 7487 Almoner)
Brother to Brother
As members of the Craft, we have a shared interest that brings us together during the year to
enjoy each other's company through our meetings, followed by the social interaction provided at the festive board. It is noticeable however, that we seldom see some members and as Lodge Almoner, I see it as part of my duties to make contact with any Brother who is not attending Lodge on a regular basis, or in some instances, not at all.
I am therefore trying to establish the reason for this. Is it due to pressure of work, responsibilities at home, health issues, cost, or simply disenchantment? Or could it be that they are simply too embarrassed to attend following a prolonged period of absence? Should it be the latter, they should not worry as they would be welcomed back with 'open-arms'. Myself, along with others, are currently in the process of trying to discover the answer to this
potentially sensitive question. Perhaps with your kind assistance, we can collectively identify
the reasons that are keeping a Brother away, and how we might get them back into Lodge, or provide comfort and support to those who are unable to attend.
In this respect, should you be aware of a Brother (or it might even be yourself), who does
not attend regularly, would you please contact me so that we can discuss any issues being
faced, but more importantly, how we might resolve them.
I thank you all in advance for your anticipated assistance in this matter.
Sincerely and Fraternally
D A Monahan. (Lodge Almoner)
023 8026 1892