As this awful pandemic develops, I am sure we are all deeply concerned about ourselves and our loved ones. Rightly so!
As Almoners, we also have an ancient duty to care for our Brethren and Companions and their families. Some of us will manage to get through this time relatively unaffected and unscathed while others will not. We will need to prepare ourselves quickly to tackle what may be coming along. How we can and will help those who are isolated, unwell or elderly is critical.
I also acknowledge that many of us fall within the criteria set out by UGLE and SGC, which may limit physical contact with those that need our help. Consequently, I am appealing to you all irrespective of geography, membership, roles, Lodges or Chapters that we come together and help each other to help those that need support.
We need to be absolutely certain we are fully aware about all those who belong or have belonged to our Lodges and Chapters. Many Brethren and Companions remain eligible for Masonic support even if they are no longer members. We need to know about all our Masonic widows. We need to know if members are 65 years of age and over. We need to know those members who have underlying health problems.
When we have this information to hand, we need to apply our thoughts to how we can respond in the best way for those who are unable to carry the vital tasks that everyone takes for granted like shopping for provisions for example.
The Petitions Applications Officers in this Province have accepted the responsibility of helping to co-ordinate and advise. They will act as your first point of contact and they will be phoning you individually very soon. Please do not contact me directly but use your appointed liaison. I am aware that some email addresses I have used many be inaccurately recorded, please discuss with other local Almoner colleagues to raise the levels of awareness.
I expect that as Almoners we should act as a catalyst to galvanise all our membership to join in until the things get better. There is much to be done and with all of us together we can and will get through this uncertain and most challenging of times.
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
W.Bro. Philip Bevan
Provincial Grand Almoner