It is now very clear that we are living through an unprecedented time in our history. Undoubtedly, these times bring with them much anxiety and fear of the unknown as well as many challenges to the way in which we go about our daily lives. The spirit and support that is prevalent across our fine Province should be a source of pride to us all in these testing moments. While Freemasonry has been suspended, it does not stop us from being Freemasons and practising those duties out of the Lodge that we have been taught in it. This is a time where we all need to play our part and step up to the challenge in front of us.
Across the Province, Brethren are reaching out to those around them to check on their well being. On this note, I am enormously pleased with the Provincial Grand Almoner’s Brother-to-Brother initiative the purpose of which is to contact and engage with our most at risk Brethren to ensure their well being. This initiative is looking to leverage the New & Young Masons groups across the Province, in many cases, our newer and younger members will be offering their support to our older members which I think is tremendous. It has my full support and I wish it every success. Furthermore, I would suggest that if we are able to offer our assistance and support to those around us in our streets, villages and towns then, as has been shown with the Three Pillars Feeding The Homeless Trust, we have an opportunity to showcase Freemasonry to those who are not part of our wonderful fraternity.
We frequently say that we are all Almoners and this statement has never been more true than it is at this moment. Our Provincial Grand Almoner, WBro Kevin Mackie, is talking to and working with Lodge Almoners so that they can share with their members the various forms of support that are available to help our Brethren who may now find themselves in very challenging situations. However, your Lodge Almoner cannot do this all on his own, so, I encourage you to see how you can support him, maybe, with a phone call, some shopping or picking up a prescription. I’ve heard that a number of Lodges have set up WhatsApp groups for quick communication on where assistance may be needed as well as for keeping up morale and maintaining contact with each other, again, these initiatives are to be encouraged. However, we need to ensure that those who do not use such technology are also included through a different means of communication.
I would like to place on record my particular thanks to WBro William Diggins who will officially become Provincial Grand Secretary in May. If I was to say that he has had a baptism of fire, it would be a considerable understatement! However, he has managed this very difficult situation and the associated pressure in an excellent manner. He has done his level best to ensure that you fully understand what is happening with respect to Freemasonry and Coronavirus.
Finally, I ask you all to pay heed to the advice being given, look after yourselves and may the Great Architect of the Universe keep those close to you safe and healthy.
Yours sincerely & fraternally,
RWBro Max Bayes
Provincial Grand Master