Almoners Report March 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
In Memoriam (Correct as of 22/03/2021)
Whilst we all know of individuals and families affected by the Covid, many people are wondering how the Craft as-a-whole is faring. Grand Lodge have confirmed that they have heard of 341 Brethren who have been called to the Grand Lodge above by this terrible Coronavirus disease. ‘May their souls rest in peace’
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 and the M.C.T.
The Masonic Charitable Foundation (M.C.F the Freemasons Charity) Find out more about the M.C.F, and tell your family.
Brethren should the worst happen, Grants and Benefits can be available for the following, bereavement, medical diagnosis, loss of income or a widow or widowed partners of Freemasons and their children or Grandchildren under the age of 25 and in full time education.
Support from the M.C.T.
The Provincial Masonic Charitable Trust provided a rapid response to those Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons and their families in financial distress. Brethren I should add that should you wish to donate to the Charity, this can be done simply by either sending a cheque or arranging a Bank transfer. So far in 2021, over £9,000 worth of grants have been approved and passed to those in need. For more information about grants and benefits that are available Contact; Freephone 0800 035 6090 or e-mail email@example.com
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 at home, which gives you 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 regular 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, confidentially 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. Should you prefer me not to include details of communications with me in my reports, would you please tell me!
So that it can be recorded in my file and acted accordingly upon.
Brethren, I can now report that all the Widows and Brethren of the Lodge have 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, requesting that you all keep safe and keep well.
Edited correspondence with some of our Lodge widows.
Mary Drury (Widow of Arthur R.I.P)
Hello Aubrey, Spring day today and it’s hard to believe that we have had a year of lockdown. Pleased that you and Barbara are now vaccinated, also all my family. Ian, my son hopes to be able to see me from London, hopefully in May. Best wishes to you both, Mary.
Moira Skinner (widow of David R.I.P)
Hi Folks, I’m glad that you both have had your Covid vaccination, I had my first one today at the Southampton General Hospital, my children Richard & Jannie have had theirs! Brian Saunders phoned me the other day, telling me about Myra’s medical problems. It was a bit of a shock! Kindest regards to Barbara, you and your family. Keep well, Moira.
Eve Kirkham (Widow 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’s (Bill) old friends.
Sheila Price (Widow of Michael R.I.P)
Dear Aubrey, pleased to hear that you are both keeping well, all is well here and I am enjoying the lighter evenings and Warmer weather, spring seems to have arrived at last. I am looking forward to visiting my sister and family again soon. Kindest regards to you and Barbara. Sheila.
Brethren the following Widows have also been lately contacted by me.
Lesley Allan-Terry (Desmond R.I.P) — Shirley Morrissey (Brian R.I.P) — Connie Bailey (Keith R.I.P) — Barbara Robinson (Tom R.I.P) — Marion Flemming (John R.I.P) — Rita Carter (John R.I.P)
Edited correspondence from Brethren/Honorary members and friends of K/A Lodge.
W.Bro Brian Saunders (Lodge Organist )
Brethren, Bro. Brian has informed me that his wife Myra has had a stroke and is now in the Winchester Hospital. (Morning of the 9th March). Almoner update. Just to inform you all that Brian would be pleased to hear from you should you wish to call him (home telephone no - 02380 276815). I will keep you all updated as and when I know more as regarding Myra’s general wellbeing. Meantime I would ask you all to remember Myra in your prayers for a full and speedy recovery
V.W. Bro Jon Whitaker (Deputy Provincial Grand Master in charge) (Honorary Member)
Dear Aubrey, thank you, we are both well. Keeping busy and active (as we can), yes indeed my desk is covered in Masonic paperwork and planning for the forthcoming months, we tread with caution. I do hope you and yours are well and thank you again for asking. Very best wishes. Jon and Linda.
W.Bro Stuart Mawson (Lodge A.D.C)
Good afternoon Bro Aubrey, and thank you for your e-mail. I am glad that you and Barbara are both well and your family of course. With kind regards Stuart.
W. Bro Mick Whitfield (Lodge Preceptor)
Always good to hear from you Aubrey and I am glad that you and Barbara are keeping well. I have just had my first Covid jab and the second booked for 23rd April and have had no after effects. My family is all fit and well and my grandchildren are getting excited at the prospect of going back to school and seeing their friends.
At least there is light at the end of the tunnel, and like you I am looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality. Congratulations on your Chapter promotion, no one that I know deserves recognition for the amazing work that you do more than you. It was good to see you on the Zoom meeting on Monday, I hope you enjoyed it. My fondest regards to both yourself and Barbara. Mick.
W.Bro Derek Saunders (Lodge Mentor)
Dear Aubrey, were all keeping well and very pleased to hear that you and Barbara and your family are well. I have been keeping busy in my new role as Lodge Mentor, which I very much enjoy and many thanks to the great support of our lodge members. Your Almoners reports are always informative and it’s great to read the messages from our brethren. I’m certainly looking forward to when we can all meet again. Wishing you all the best, Derek and Carol-Anne.
Ps. Brethren pleased to inform you all that Derek and I speak every week since the Coronavirus Epidemic started, and he continues to help me in my Almoners duties by keeping in touch with several of the brethren by regularly telephoning calls, for which I am most grateful.
W.Bro Alan Smith (Area Secretary)
Hi Aubrey, all remains well with Donna and myself, thank you, and we are looking forward to the easing of restrictions and the imminent birth of another grandson, sometime this month (March). Kind regards to you and Barbara. Alan and Donna
W.Bro Phil Chapman (Royal Arch Representative)
Hi Aubrey, really good to hear from you and that you and your family are keeping well. Both Jennie and I have now received our vaccinations and looking more confidently to better times for us all. I continue to work for the Ministry of Justice, but think my term of office will end in April, which is my 72nd birthday (that’s 2 years after my official judicial retirement, so I think it’s about time), although I will miss the work and especially my judicial friends. With my very best wishes and thanks for your continued hard work as Almoner.
Sincerely and Fraternally. Phil
W.Bro Jim Melrose (Initiated into K/A Lodge in 1970 and now living in Buckinghamshire)
Dear Aubrey, thank you for your messages. Firstly, congratulations on your promotion, you really deserve the recognition. This is the first time that anybody has put so much effort into this office and we are proud of you. Everything is fine here and I am currently having some good days and likewise some not so good days. When we get some better weather, we will all be able to get out and about in the garden, things then will be so much better. I trust that Barbara and yourself are keeping fit and well, keep safe. Kindest regards Jim.
W.Bro Ray Fisher
Aubrey, thank you for your e-mail, I am well and managing the Pandemic quite well even though I am on my own with my nearest relatives being 250 miles away. I look forward to the day that I can drive northwards to see them all. It will be a lot better after the 29th of March when I can get back on the golf course again, it seems so long since I last played. I also hope that it will not be too long before King Aelfred Lodge restarts, I really do miss it and I hope to see you all then. Yours sincerely and Fraternally Ray.
W.Bro David McLean.
Dear Aubrey, thank you for asking after Di and me. We have had our first Jabs, now only one way up!
Kind regards, David.
Bro Lee Saunders (S.D)
Hi Aubrey, thank you for your e-mail, all’s o.k here. Glad you and your family are still keeping well. Regards Lee.
Bro Ken Foulkes
Aubrey, thank you for your e-mail and continued phone calls, always a pleasure to hear from you. I had a call from Derek Saunders and Ernie Jeff’s. All is well with all my family and we look forward to some easing off in the future. Aubrey, I am pleased that you have received this (Chapter) promotion, I am sure Barbara and your family are all very proud of you, considering the work for the Masonic cause, it’s well deserved. Well done my friend. All the best, keep safe, regards Ken.
W. Bro Richard Ings
Morning Aubrey, all well here. Looking forward to being released! Trust you and your family are well. Regards Richard.
W.Bro Mike Robinson (Lodge Chaplain)
Hello Aubrey, good to hear from you always and I trust you and Barbara and family are well. Carol and I are both fine as is my mum (Barbara lodge widow), I speak with her every morning and am managing to help keep her spirits up. I am stopped from being bored with a full amount of volunteering work for the British Red Cross and am very involved with a variety of rolls with the Covid Vaccination rollout being set up throughout the country. As you state in your e-mail, hopefully we can start to soon look forward to some sort of normality in the coming months. You are doing a brilliant Almoners job, keeping in touch with the widows and Brethren. Keep safe and keep well. Sincerely and Fraternally Mike.
W.Bro Ian Paddy (Lodge Treasurer)
Doing well Aubrey, albeit super busy at work, likewise looking forward to seeing you hopefully before the end of the year. Kindest regards Ian.
W.Bro Alan Cookson
Good morning Aubrey, many thanks for your e-mail. I am glad that you and Barbara are keeping well and have had your first jabs. I am due to have my second on the 20th of March and Susan should have her second in mid-April. We are hoping that now things are improving that we will soon be able to see our Grandchildren in person rather than on Zoom or Facebook. Anyway, apart from being bored and frustrated we are keeping well and starting to do some gardening now the weather is getting better. Looking forward to getting back to normal Lodge meetings in the not-so-distant future. Kind regards Alan and Susan.
Bro Noel Grimmett
Dear Aubrey, nice to hear from you, all’s well thank you and Looking forward to my second Jab sometime in April. I trust all is well is well with you. Best wishes and kind regards Noel.
Bro Ernie Jeff’s
Many thanks Aubrey, for your e-mail and best wishes. I’m glad to hear that you are both o.k. My Barbara is keeping busy with her council business and me with my activities on the town Trust. We have both passed the first round of Jabs, second round beginning at the beginning of April. I rang and caught up with Ken Foulkes at the beginning of the week. I hope to see you at the Halas Abby video presentation on Sunday, it will be given by one of the BBC antique roadside team presenters, Mark Smith. Thanks for all that you do for the Lodge. Kindest regards Ernie and Barbara
Bro Geoff Evans
Hi Aubrey, my family are all well and I hope you and your family are all keeping well. Kindest Regards Geoff.
Bro John Wright.
Many thanks Aubrey for your kind e-mail. Janet and I are well and like you and your dear lady wife we have both had our first Jabs. You reported that you and your family are well in your e-mail, and I trust that remains the case, while it seems our other Brethren have not been so fortunate. My prayers will be with them all, stay safe dear chap. Sincerely and Fraternally John.
W.Bro Noel Voice (P.Assit.Pro Grand Master) (Honorary Member)
Dear Aubrey and Barbara, thanks for your e-mail. Jean and I have had our first vaccination and are looking forward to receiving our second in April. Looking forward to when we can all meet again. Keep up the good work, you are doing a superb job. Kind regards Noel.
W.Bro Roy Quinn (P.Assit.Pro Grand Master) (Honorary Member)
Good morning Aubrey, so pleased to hear that you and your family are all safe and well. Linda and I have both had our first jabs and by the end of April would have had our second one - all our family are well and looking forward to being able to visit us again soon. Please pass on our very best to Barbara and keep safe yourself. Let the members of the Lodge know that we are thinking of them and wishing them all well. Kindest regards Roy and Linda.
W.Bro David Flemming (P.Assit.Pro Grand Master) (Honorary Member)
Hi Aubrey, e-mail received safe and well as we both are and we hope all’s well with you also and your family. Fed up with the incarceration now, we shielders are commited until the end of March currently, and not sure how keen we are to branch out when we can. Best regards. Di and David.
W.Bro Terry Bruty (P.A.G.Swd.B) (Honorary Member)
Dear Aubrey, thank you for your kind enquiry. But more importantly, many congratulations on your preferment in the Royal Arch. My best regards to you both. Yours ever Terry.
W.Bro Nigel Baber (Pro. Visiting Officer)
Hi Aubrey, thank you again for your communications, it’s very much appreciated. My family and I are all doing well and have had our first jab, so we are feeling are feeling more relaxed about things now. It was great to see you on the video call Monday, it’s really nice to be invited to take part as my other lodges don’t do much Communicating. Let’s hope the vaccine can finally move us towards a more normal summer and meetings possible again in the Autumn. Take care and again thank you for all you do as Lodge Almoner. Sincerely and Fraternally Nigel
Bro Simon Stone (Chef and Lodge Caterer).
Hi Aubrey, thank you for your kind message, pretty much the same here as the last time we spoke. Just looking forward to some kinder weather, as it makes a real difference. Good to hear that Barbara and you are doing well also. Ps. I think I have reached over 8500 - Wednesday takeaway meals up to date. Kindest regards Simon
Update takeaway information
Companions for your general information Bro Simon our caterer at the Winchester Centre has since the Covid 19 started a limited take away service from the centre and that he has so far served out over 8500 takeaways meals up to date! 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.
———-Update Regarding the Digitalisation of the Old Secretary Minute Books——-
Pleased to inform you all that the work on the Old minute books have now been completed (Scanned, memory stick’d, DVD‘d and e-mailed to a link on Pdf files) and they have personally been delivered by me to Alan Smiths home in Southampton.
P.s Alan is undertaking the project to update memorabilia of the Lodge and I had agreed to help by having the Digitalisation on the books carried out by, THE PRINTROOM in Chandlers Ford.
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.
Companions 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.
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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.
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