Updated: Mar 9
Almoners Report February Period 2021
Brethren, a copy of my Almoners Report is available at www.kingaelfred.com, or KAL Members WhatsApp group
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
Brethren. Please remember, you can read my Almoners report on www.kingaelfred.com and on WhatsApp @ KAL Members Forum
Coronavirus Epidemic – Never more appropriate than right now
Those who died yesterday - Had plans for the morning
Those that died this morning - had plans for tonight
Don’t take life for granted - In the blink of an eye, everything changes
So, forgive often and love with all your heart
You never know when you may not have the chance again
Rest Eternal Grant unto them, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
In Memoriam (Correct as of 08/02/ 2021)
Whilst we all know of individuals and families affected by the Covid, many people are wondering how the Craft as-a-whole is fairing. Grand Lodge have confirmed that they have heard of 305 Brethren who have been called to the Grand Lodge above by this terrible Coronavirus disease. May their souls rest in peace.
There are many organisations and charities across the country dedicated to providing emotional and practical support - including the M.C.F.A (Masonic Charitable Foundation and the M.C.T. (Masonic Charitable Trust).
The Masonic Charitable Foundation (The Freemasons Charity) – The M.C.F is funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons. It builds better lives by encouraging opportunity, promoting independence and improving wellbeing through grants to individuals, families and charities
If you should suffer loss, or financial hardship, the M.C.F. can help. Do your loved ones know that the M.C.F is there to help? As well as supporting Freemasons the M.C.F can also help immediate family. Divorced and widowed partners of Freemasons, and their children or grandchildren (under the age of 25 in full time education) may be eligible for help from the M.C.F. Do call them should you need help.. Do speak to me if you would like more information
Get a professional prepared Will at no cost.
For those of you who are thinking about writing a will, but are uncertain where to start the M.C.F has put together a detailed but easy to understand guide with everything that you need to know about writing a will from understanding the terminology to useful tips and to many other areas to consider.
Preparing for the future may seem daunting, but creating a will guarantees protection for those people that you care about after your bereavement. To make it possible for everyone to have a will the ‘Goodwill Partnership’ work with Qualified solicitors to provide a basic will at no cost.
If you should need to contact the M.C.F about making a will, or on any other topic: FREEPHONE number is 0800 035 6090 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Support the M.C.T.
The Provincial Masonic Charitable Trust provides a rapid response to those Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons and their families who may be in financial distress. Donations in 2019 were £41,700. That increased in 2020 to £64,500 (of this amount £32,500 was granted to brethren and their families directly affected by the impact of Covid). Companions I should add that should the Chapter wish to donate to the Charity, this can be easily completed by sending either a cheque or arranging a bank transfer. So far in 2021, £9,000 worth of grants have been approved and credited to those in need. For more information, do speak to me.
Dear Brethren All, on a very personal level may I please ask you all once more not to be a stranger to your fellow Brothers in the lodge, especially in these most difficult times, and as some of you are spending more time at home, you have an opportunity to lift up your phone and say hello. Most importantly to anyone living on their own, I am sure your call would be very much appreciated.
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.
Almoners Best Practice
Brethren All, confidentially will always be my priority and 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 any Personal details of yours 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, I can report to you all that all the Widows and Brethren of the Lodge have all been recently contacted by me personally. 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 for the New Year requesting that you all keep safe and keep well.
Edited correspondence from some of our Lodge widows
Shirley Morrissey (Brian R.I.P)
Thank you Aubrey, all is well. Regards Shirley.
Moira Skinner (David R.I.P)
HI Folk’s, I’m glad all your family are keeping well. It will be nice to get back to a bit of normality hopefully soon and see everyone again. The young folks do my shopping, so I see them even if it’s just at the door. Anny has come down to the Western Hospital this afternoon (as an interpreter) so she will pop some shopping in and it will be nice to see her. Sadly, I have not as yet had my first Covid vaccination. Keep safe Moira.
Mary Drury (Arthur R.I.P)
Hello Aubrey, thank you for keeping in touch, and yes it will be nice to see the family again. We have a zoom call quit often which helps. I was lucky to have had my two vaccinations, but being shielded, I think it will be some weeks before we can all meet up again. Glad you and Barbara are keeping well and getting out for walks. Best Wishes to you all at Lodge. 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, she tells me that she and her family are all keeping well and sends her regards to all her late husband (Bill) old friends.
Edited e-mail received from her daughter Rachel for your interest!
Dear Aubrey, I just wanted to let you know that my mum (Eve Kirkham) has been staying with me now for about a month. I Popped over to her house today to check on things and picked up your telephone messages and lovely greetings card that you had sent, thank you so much for always keeping in touch. Mum always enjoys a good chat with you, and it’s always nice to know that people are thinking about you. I’m glad to hear that you and Barbara are keeping well. Will you please pass on our best wishes to the brethren of King Aelfred Lodge. Stay safe and well — Best wishes Rachel (Whitfield).
Brethren, the following Widows have all been lately contacted by telephone by myself; Barbara Robinson (Tom R.I.P) - (Chaplains Mum) - Marion Flemming - (John R.I.P).
Edited correspondence from Brethren/Honorary members and friends of K/A Lodge.
Congratulations to Kathryn and Sam Chapman
Delighted to inform you all that a beautiful baby girl, Edith, Ophelia Chapman was born to Kathryn and Sam at their home on 22nd February (3.54 kg). It is my understanding that both parents and baby are doing well!
Brethren, I have sent a ‘New Baby Girl’ congratulations card from all King Aelfred members to the Happy new parents.
W. Bro Matt (Worshipful Master)
Hi Aubrey, we’re doing well thank you. Same as everyone, getting fed up not having a normal life, but looking forward to when we can again. I’m glad to hear that you and Barbara are keeping well and a little less at risk, now that you’ve had your jab! Always lovely to hear from you. Keep safe, Matt and Laura.
Bro Andi Parker (Lodge D.C)
Hi Aubrey, Thank you, up to my neck in university work and very busy at work also. Delighted that you both have had your first vaccinations, well done. I had mine in London a few weeks ago. Nice to hear from you, keep up the good work. Best Wishes Andi
Bro Stuart Mawson (A.D.C)
HI Aubrey, thank you for your e-mail and it was nice chatting with you on the telephone, nothing dramatic to report this end and I do hope you and Barbara are o.k. I am waiting for my jab at the moment and I’m glad that you’ve both had yours. With many thanks and my kind regards. Sincerely and Fraternally Stuart.
Follow up e-mail received
Good evening Aubrey, grateful thanks for your Almoners report which I always read with interest, but particularly this time regarding the Eulogy on ‘Fingers Bob’. My goodness, truly an eye opener. I only knew a little bit of his life from sitting next to him at the festive boards, but this is amazing. Your report is always brilliant and the time you spend, including I know the telephone calls, looking after everyone is unsurpassed, but in doing so, I hope you are looking after yourself and not neglecting Barbara or your family. Thank you again Aubrey, stay safe and well. Yours sincerely and Fraternally Stuart.
Bro Derek Saunders (Lodge Mentor)
Hi Aubrey, were all OK thank you and it will be great when we can all meet up again and we’re looking forward to better weather. All the best to you and Barbara. Derek and Carol-Anne.
Ps. Pleased to inform you all brethren, that Derek and I Speak every week since the Coronavirus Epidemic started, with general conversations and he continues to help me in my Almoners duties by keeping in touch with brethren by regularly telephoning calls, which I must say is very much appreciated by me.
Bro Mick Whitfield (Lodge Preceptor)
All good with me Aubrey, I am looking forward to the time when we can all get together again, one step at a time. I am off this afternoon to Romsey for my first Covid jab! Fondest regards to both you and Barbara, Mick.
Bro Maurice Beale
Dear Aubrey, many thanks for your enquiry, but we are all surviving this difficult period, but I do feel that there is at the least some hopeful signs beginning to show through exactly what sort of society will emerge is all a little doubtful. Sincerely and Fraternally Maurice.
Bro Jim Melrose (Initiated into King Aelfred Lodge in 1970 and now living in Buckinghamshire)
Dear Aubrey, I trust that I find both Barbara and yourself fit and well. It has been a long time in lockdown and I am sure that we will all be better for the forthcoming relaxations? and with Spring around the corner, at least we will be able to get out in the garden. With regards to my health problems, I have just completed a course of treatments at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and in general terms I feel fit and fine and am responding well to the treatments that I have received. Hopefully if the government releases the regulations soon, we will be able to start our regular Lodge meetings by the commencement of next season. Keep fit Aubrey, and kindest regards to all the Brethren at King Aelfred Lodge. Jim Melrose.
Bro Alan Smith
Hi Aubrey, many thanks for keeping in touch its very much appreciated. I’m very pleased to report Donna and I continue to exercise caution by not taking unnecessary risks and we remain safe and well. I’m pleased to inform you that I will be getting my vaccination this afternoon and although it doesn’t guarantee 100% complete immunity it will provide me a greater confidence, especially when I get the second dose within 2weeks. I might even venture out for some exercise now instead of sitting at home watching the world go by though the window. I hope you and Barbara and your family are keeping well. Take care, kind regards Alan and Donna.
Bro Brian Saunders (Lodge Organist)
Hi Aubrey, boring being in 23 hours a day since March. I think it’s tougher for Myra as she can’t do the outside walking exercises since her accident. We managed OK in the first lockdown because it was summer, but it’s a both tougher now through the winter. On a more positive note, we are both well and I have had both my jabs. Thank you for the job you do on behalf of the Lodge, regards Brian.
Bro Alan Cookson
Dear Aubrey, many thanks again for your kind thoughts, we are well, but have not been out much since Christmas and just sons are helping by getting our shopping. I had my first jab on New Year’s Day and Susan gets hers this afternoon. Thanks again for all that you do. I will try to join the Lodge meeting on Monday night. Best regards to you and Barbara. Alan and Susan.
Update for your Interest - Bro Peter Kent-Mason
Brethren to keep in touch with Peter and his wife Jackie through the telephone (but I do send him my monthly Almoners report through the Post!) for some ‘Bedtime light reading‘. They are both keeping quite well really, although he suffers with his legs! They have now both received their first vaccination Jab’s. Peter and I have chats with regards to K/A members that we have not seen at Lodge regularly and often reminisce over older members that sadly have now passed. He and Jackie send wishes to be remembered to you all.
P.s Peter was initiated into King Alfred Lodge in 1988 and held the office of Chaplain for approx. 17 years.
Bro Andy Rudge.
Hi Aubrey, glad to hear your all well as we all are. I have also had the vaccine via work and Haley should soon as a Paramedic via our G.P. We still have some time to go during the Pandemic, so maybe easier after the summer, but who knows.. Regards to you all, Andy and Haley.
Bro Dave King
Morning Aubrey, Jan and I were so pleased to receive your telephone call yesterday and to learn that you and your wife and family are well and enjoying good health. I am pleased to say that Jan is making good progress and is able to do most things that she now wishes and is looking much better in herself and you can tell by her voice how much she has come on. We consider ourselves very fortunate that we are together and in this position as its 12months to this day that she was admitted to hospital, so very ill and close to death. Living in Winchester all her life, she so much enjoyed talking and reminiscing over past years and it was a joy to listen to your discussions and we both learned things when we talk to you. Please would you relay my best wishes to all the Brethren of King Aelfred for their kind thoughts and Jan say’s how pleased she is that the Lodge all meet on Monday evenings as it keeps things going and means a great deal to me. We both did so much enjoy talking to you yesterday.. You really are so good to everyone kind regards to you and Barbara. Jan and Dave King.
Bro Roy Quin (P.Assit. Prov.G.Master)
Hi Aubrey and Barbara, thank you for your best wishes. I’m pleased to hear that you have both now had your first vaccinations, we are all looking forward to a brighter future. I hope 2021 brings you both health and happiness and all that you wish for, keep safe. Kindest regards Roy and Lin.
Bro Nigel Baber (Provincial Visiting Officer)
Hi Aubrey, as always it’s lovely to hear from you and I’m glad you and your family are staying safe and well. It’s great that you’ve both had the vaccine, my wife is due to get hers on Thursday, so that will be a great relief for us. I’ll be joining the K/A video catchup on Monday night with the other guys from the lodge and I am looking forward to it. Thanks again for all that you do for the lodge families, it’s really appreciated. Take care until we meet again. Sincerely and Fraternally Nigel.
Bro Geoffrey Evans
Hello Aubrey, I am glad to hear that you and your good lady are well. Myself and my family are well and I have had my daughter and our 20-month old grandson living with us for the last 4 months and he has been keeping us on our toes and also keeping us a little younger. It has been a long time since we have all been in lodge together and I have missed the meetings, but hopefully by the time the Lodge re-opens, I will be ready for my 2nd degree ceremony. Best Wishes Geoff.
Bro Noel Grimmett
Dear Aubrey, very good to hear from you and that all is well. I am OK here and pleased to report that I had my vaccine jab yesterday. I have just heard that a good friend and ex- navy colleague has just passed away in the early hours of this morning, very sad. Wishing you and your family all the very best. Kindest regards Noel
Bro Ernie Jeff’s
Brethren All, delighted to inform you all that I have received a ‘Burns Night Card from Ernie and Barbara wishing my wife Barbara and myself well, which was very much appreciated and I have of course replied with our best regards and told him to keep well. He also informed me that they are both well and sends his regards to all.
Bro Richard Ings
Good afternoon Aubrey, many thanks for your thoughts and a belated Happy new year to you and your family. We are both well and get our first jabs this Friday. I regret that it will be a while before anything or anyone gets back to normality soon. Let’s hope things improve now and we can all meet up again this year.
All good wishes to you and Barbara. Richard and Natalie.
Bro David Marsh
Good morning Aubrey, family and myself are all very well thank you. It’s difficult times for a lot of people, so I count blessings regarding health, work and family. I feel very fortunate and make every day count. I am lucky to be able to help some of my older customers in these difficult times. Thoughts go out to you and members of the Lodge and thank you for all that you do. Kindest regards, David.
Bro Terry Bruty
Brethren, had a most interesting telephone conversation with Terry. He informed me that he and his family are well and looking forward to much better times. He sends his kindest regards to all at king Aelfred and wishes us all well.
Bro Ken Foulkes
Ken an I continue to keep in regularly touch either in person, by phone or by FaceTime. He is quite well and has now received his first Coronavirus jab. He tells me that he and is family are all keeping well and he always sends his regards to all King Aelfred members and their families when we speak.
Bro Lee Saunders (SD)
Hi Aubrey, thank you all’s well here.. Glad you and your family are also keeping well. Regards Lee
Bro Simon Stone (Chef and Lodge Caterer).
Hi Aubrey, great to chat yesterday, and just to say life is still very much the same. I think I have reached about 8500 Wednesday takeaway meals for the guys and it’s great to see them and chat. Obviously, no sport to take part in! and no holidays for any of us, so filling my days with dog walking and volunteering at the local community centre, which is very rewarding, but really missing work though, and all that goes with the centre and all the social interaction. Anyway, we will all get back to it eventually. Kindest regards Simon and Hilary.
Companions for your general information Simon offers a limited take away food service from the centre. It is excellent and at a very modest cost, and I include his telephone number for those that might be interested 02380- 265914. He also tells me that he does a limited delivery service within the Winchester area, but companions this is something that you must discuss with Simon personally.
WhatsApp KAL Members Forum meeting Update held 1st February’ 2021 - Copy of message that was sent by me to all WhatsApp members the following morning.
Good morning Brethren All, well done W.Master Matt for a most interesting evening. Well done Bro Derek our MC for producing the evening. Bro Alan and Bro Mick for your excellent contributions to the evening. Well done to all the brethren that attended (most enjoyable and informative). Brethren All, take great care and keep safe and always remember to support the ‘Wonderful’ N.H.S. and always remember to say your prayers ‘God Bless to you and all your families and remember ‘to help me to help you’. (Lodge Almoner).
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).
Once again Brethren, 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. Please remember ‘to help me, to help you’
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 on the WhatsAPP King Aelfred Members Forum. Should those of you not connected, please contact Bro Andi Parker or Bro Sam, our Secretary for any assistance that you may require.
'' 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