October 2020: Almoners Report

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

Wendy Foulkes R.I.P

Brethren it is with much sadness that I must Inform you of the death of Ken Foulkes lovely wife ‘Wendy’, she passed away peacefully in her sleep on 19th October 2020 in her nursing home in Romsey. Her funeral will take place on Monday 2nd November at 11.30 am at the Test Valley crematorium, Romsey and any donations should be sent to the Funeral Director Nigel Guilder, 27 Hursley Road, Chandlers Ford, Hants S053 SFS.

Wendy was a lovely woman full of fun and loved life, she will be very much missed by her family and her friends. Brethren I have sent a Sympathy card to Ken and his family from the Worshipful Master, wardens and all the Brethren of the lodge and I will ask Bro. Mike Dant our Charity steward, to send a donation to the Alzheimer’s society charity in her memory.

Please would you all kindly remember Wendy in your prayers. Ps. Brethren also see Bro Ken Foulkes below.

Coronavirus Epidemic

When things are at their worst you will see the best and the worst in people. Sometimes it will break your heart, but you will also be inspired Beyond belief by the goodness of others at the end of the day ‘Goodness wins, Love wins’.

Rest Eternal Grant unto them, and let perpetual light shine upon them

Whilst we all know of individuals and families affected by Covid, many people are wondering as a whole, how we are all faring. Members deaths are up 15.32% on this time last year and sadly 217 Masonic brethren have been called to the Grand lodge above by this terrible disease.

There are many organisations and charities across the country dedicated to providing emotional and practical support including the M.C.F - The Freemasons Charity, which last year helped 50 families with respite. The Masonic Charitable Foundation since the beginning of the year have helped with 136 grants to beneficiaries totalling £277,354 (Up to date!).

The trustees of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (our own Provincial Charity) has also provided to the brethren and their families, virtually instant financial support, to the tune of £51.336). Ps. Brethren I will continue to update you as and when I know more.

Dear Brethren All, may I please ask you all once not to be a stranger to your fellow Brothers in the lodge, especially in these most difficult times, and as being at home give’s you all 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, I know that If I was on my own, that I would be delighted with a friendly chat from a fellow brother 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, confidentially will always be my priority 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 details, i.e 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 now report to you all that all the Widows and Brethren of the Lodge have all been recently contacted by me and I can confirm that no one has reported to me that they have contacted 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.

Brethren, it may be of interest to know that it is a Provincial request that all Craft Almoners try and make personal contact with the widows by phone (if possible) so as to make it more personal in these most difficult of times.

Edited e-mail correspondence with some of our Lodge Widows

Shirley Morrissey (widow of Brian R.I.P)

Thank you Aubrey, best wishes to you and your family, kindest regards Shirley.

Lesley Allan- Terry (widow of Desmond R.I.P – A founder member)

Dear Aubrey, thank you for your e-mail it was kind of you to keep in touch. I am well but finding the limitations imposed tedious at times. I would have been going to Australia in a few weeks to spend Christmas with my daughter and her family, however we shall have to spend time together on FaceTime and just hope we can get together some next year. I walk my dog most days, and spend the afternoon’s putting books on line for sale by ‘Oxfam ‘, so the time passes agreeably enough. Kindest regards to you and your family, Lesley.

Eve Kirkham (widow of Bill R.I.P)

Brethren delighted to inform you all that I have continued to have long and most interesting telephone conversations with Eve, she is a most charming lady (and once again she was a hairdressing client of mine in Winchester for many years). Sadly, she has not been in great health lately, thankfully she has two extremely supportive children and grandchildren who keep an eye on her General wellbeing. She sends her kindest regards once again to all King Aelfred members, especially those that remember her late husband ‘Bill’ (our excellent lodge Secretary for many years).

Sheila Price (widow of Michael R.I.P)

Many thanks for your e-mail, I am pleased to say all is well here. I have been busy in the garden and the allotment, and I am still eating the potatoes and the tomatoes. Kind regards Sheila.

Copy of ‘Get well Card‘ sent to my wife Barbara for your interest from Barbara Robinson (widow of Tom R.I.P and mother of Mike Robinson our Chaplain).

Dear Barbara, so sorry to hear that you are unwell at the moment. You must be in a lot of pain and I do hope it won’t be too long before you are up and about again. I do appreciate dear Aubrey’s phone calls and I miss our trips to the ‘Acorn Club’, it was a lovely morning out. Thinking of you, get well soon. Love and best wishes Barbara (Robinson).

Ps. Brethren these Widows have also been lately contacted by myself; Mary Drury (widow of Arthur), Connie Bailey (widow of Keith), Moira Skinner (widow of David), Rita Carter (John R.I.P), Marion Flemming (Mother of David)

E-mail correspondence with K/A brethren’s

W.Bro Tim Hadfield (Worshipful Master)

It’s good to hear from you and I can report that we are all well, I hope you and Barbara and your family are also well and keeping safe. It is indeed strange times and I cannot thank you enough on behalf of the brethren for your efforts throughout the Pandemic. I look forward to the time that we can safely meet in normal circumstances. Sincerely and Fraternally Tim.

Ps. Personal thank you Tim, for the lovely flowers sent by yourself and the brethren of King Aelfred Lodge to my wife Barbara, (who has not been well).. very much appreciated by her and myself and the family).

Bro Matt Wood (S.W)

Hi Aubrey, lovely to hear from you, we are both fine thank you, busy any work. Hope you and your family are keeping safe and well too. Many thanks, Matt.

Bro Alan Smith (lodge Secretary)

Hi Aubrey, no change in the ‘Smith’ household since our last update and thank goodness it may continue. I hope you and Barbara and the rest of your family are keeping safe and well. Kindest regards, keep up the good work. Alan.

Bro Mick Whitfield (Lodge of Instruction Preceptor)

Hi Aubrey, I trust you and Barbara are keeping well. I would also like to thank you for the vast amount of energy and work that you put in, with respect to looking after the members. Life with me is good, and I have regular communication with my children and my grandchildren on almost a daily basis and to date none of us have been unwell. Thanks once again, my fondest regards to you both. Sincerely and Fraternally Mick.

Bro Andi Parker (Lodge D.C.)

HI Aubrey, all good here thanks, and I do hope this finds you and Barbara well. Thank you for checking in with me and thank you for the hard work and commitment, not to mention your very comprehensive reports. You are a star player and we are very lucky to have you, we all feel reassured having you as our Almoner. Best wishes Andi

Bro Stuart Mawson (Asst. D.C)

Good morning Bro Aubrey, and thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately, over the last few weeks I’ve had a few health issues (which have all been cleared up now). I hope you and Barbara and family are o.k. Thank you for being our Almoner and for all the work that you do on behalf of us all. Yours sincerely and Fraternally Stuart.

Bro Brian Saunders (Lodge Organist)

As always Aubrey, thank you for being a friend. Regards Brian.

Bro Derek Saunders (I.P.M)

Derek Continues to assist me by keeping in touch regularly with the 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 becoming ‘Mentor of the Lodge’ and I have no doubt that he will excel in that most important lodge role. He has informed me that he and his wife, Carol-Ann, and his family are all well and continuing to keep safe and taking great care during these difficult times.

Bro Mike Dant (Charity Steward)

Dear Aubrey, message received and so very sorry to hear your wife is not well. If there is anything we can do please let us know, Mike and Sue.

Bro Ken Foulkes

Brethren I have continued to have regular and interesting telephone conversations with Ken, he has been a good neighbour of mine for many years and has been a friend and brother now for many years (I was his proposer into Freemasonry). He has informed me that although his personal health is not great, his daughter and son and their families are all keeping well during this most difficult times and I will to keep you all updated on his late wife’s memorial service (which I understand will take place sometime in the future). As you will all understand I will be Continuing to keep in Close contact with Ken during these most sad and difficult times.

He has informed me that due to his personal health issues, it is very unlikely that he will be able to attend Lodge until the Coronavirus pandemic is resolved, but he sends his kindest and best regards to all for their condolences.

Bro Dave King

Good afternoon Aubrey, do hope you and your family are keeping well. I am sorry that I have not been in touch lately, but I have been busy looking after Jan. She has an appointment at the hospital tomorrow with the consultant, so we hope that some good will come from that. Your ‘Get Well’ card from the lodge members was very nice and we are both most grateful for that, and the fellows on Monday night never fail to ask how Jan is and how things are going. Best wishes to you and your family. Dave and Jan.

Ps.. Brethren, Jan did indeed receive ‘good news’ from her consultant, he was very pleased with how her recuperation was going after her major surgery.

Bro Phillip Kent Mason

Always light hearted telephone conversations with Peter and his wife Jackie. Both are pleased to be remembered by all the members of King Aelfred. Peter has again not been too comfortable with his legs, but he keeps cheerful and always seems pleased to chat. He sends his regards to all at King Alfred for the future.

Bro John Smallbone

Dear Aubrey, I was sorry to hear that Barbara has been unwell. I am sure that you are looking after her well (make sure you look after yourself too!) I wish you both good health, kindest regards John.

Bro John Wright

Many thanks for your e-mail, I find myself counting my blessings, having just read that your wife and Kens are under the weather of course, I pray for them both. I am glad to report that’s all well here at present. Look after yourself and more particularly look after your dear wife. Sincerely and Fraternally John.

Bro Simon Stone (Chef and King Aelfred Caterer)

For your general information Brethren, 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).

Simon Update takeaway information

All OK Aubrey, hope you are well too. Catering still the same, meals every Wednesday to take away 10-12 pick up. Kind regards Simon.

Bro Bob Seago

Brethren no real change with Bob, (sadly he has memory loss). He always is pleased to hear from me and always seems cheerful and always sends his regards to us all at King Aelfred and informs me that he is looking forward to seeing us all soon again (sadly brethren this is most unlikely). Brethren, I will of course keep you all updated as to ‘Bobs’ general health and wellbeing as and when I hear more.

Bro Alan Cookson

Good morning Aubrey, many thanks for keeping in touch and I am sorry not to have replied sooner. I’m concerned to learn that your dear wife Barbara is not well and I very much hope that she makes a speedy recovery soon. I’m pleased to say that my wife Susan has now been given the all clear after her health issue, although she will be kept under observation. The situation with Covid is getting worse, but in spite of that, I hope that we can resume a normal life in the not so distant future and we can all meet again in lodge. Best regards Alan.

Bro Crawford White.

Hi Aubrey, still happy to report all clear and in good health in the White family. Hope all is well with you and yours. Kind regards Crawford.

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).

Important Helpful Contacts details for your interest

Brethren All, please do not forget - help@mcf.org.uk or the Masonic FREEPHONE number is 0800 035 6090 or should you need any further assistance, my personal home telephone number is 02380 261892 (and I have an answer phone).

Once again, my thanks to those that have been helping me (particularly Bro Alan, our Secretary) though these difficult times. God bless you all and your families, keep safe and do take great care. Now that we are 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 personal light reading ).

'' Please remember to help me, to help you ''

Yours Sincerely and Fraternally

Aubrey

D A Monahan. (King Aelfred Lodge No. 7487 Almoner)

almoner@kingaelfred.com

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KING ÆLFRED LODGE 7487
CHILCOMB DOWN HOUSE
124 ALRESFORD ROAD
WINCHESTER
SO21 1HA
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