An update from the Chairman, W Bro Dudley Price PAGDC

How life varies! My last update, written in August, celebrated the end of the lockdown and mentioned how we had been able to get out to Kent for a day – socially distanced of course – in the sun free at last from 4 walls.

As I sit here now looking out of the study window I can see the sun is shining, though somewhat watery, and the season of mellow fruitfulness is marked by another (one hopes) shorter lockdown in a further effort to control this virus which, it seems, is so determined to blight our lives.

As almoner of a RA Chapter which has a large and far flung membership, I have been writing News Letters and distributing them only to have it confirmed that various other countries are locking down or restricting movement of their populations, and how the disruption is affecting people adversely everywhere.

I count myself fortunate; I have land, horses, and an elderly Jaguar which all need attention and which accordingly keep me busy. There is always a repair or a project to be addressed.

Business too tends to require particular attention at times like these and tradesmen are not always available to do necessary repairs so the Jack of all trades – me – has to do his best!

Without wishing to teach Granny to suck eggs, I will mention that we should all be Almoners and therefore we all should make an effort to contact brethren in our various Lodges and Chapters as well as units beyond the aegis of UGLE and SGC to which we may belong.

I know how difficult that can be and how the novelty of Zoom meetings is wearing thin, but a telephone call to a brother young or old, who is unable to benefit from outside space, can lift spirits and I would recommend engagement with other members of our Lodges and Chapters to ensure there is a rota system of contact set up so that the entire job does not fall upon the Almoner and Secretary.

At present we are doing our best to provide events for you on the web; not, I know, as jolly as getting together but it provides an outlet, sometimes some extra information and education, and some relief from the boredom.

We recently joined the London “Lunchtimers” for a virtual meeting to which they were kind enough to invite our membership and at which a lecture on Freemasonry during the Great War was given by W Bro Mike Karn PJGD.

There is also a lecture from Freemasons Without Borders on The Future of Freemasonry: Evolution & Change which, by the time you read this, will be in the past tense as it is happening in November!

We have a programme of events coming out steadily during the next few months, mostly virtual, but we will eventually – when circumstances permit – be able to return to face to face events and although I do not wish to take away our Events team’s element of surprise I would enjoin you to keep an eye on the website where events will be announced.

Also, keep an eye on your inbox as email announcements will be sent out to the membership from time to time. These events are very much what you indicated you wished us to organise in the recent questionnaire which many of you kindly completed.

If you are not yet a member, I urge you to look at our website, join in some of the events that are not restricted to members only and expand your Masonic connections in London by signing up to the Kent Club. There is a direct link (button) on the website.

We would also like to hear what you have been doing during this time, whether it be efforts to help others, entertain yourselves whilst self-isolating, or trying to plan the future for your Lodges.

In the absence of getting together face to face we can share good ideas and good news via the website if you let us know. One idea which I feel has merit for when we get back to proper meetings is to follow the actual meeting with a Zoom call from the bar or some other suitable place for all those who cannot attend.

This may encourage some to make the effort and make the meeting more inclusive for those who cannot be there.

In closing I hope you all enjoyed a very Happy Christmas, no matter how it was constrained by circumstances and I wish you a healthy and prosperous 2021.

I am reminded of our club events team’s strap line – Great members and great events make great memories! and also of the comment made by Colonel Sir Tom Moore: tomorrow will be a good day .

Let us all look forward with optimism to the future when we can, unfettered by current restrictions, enjoy our Masonry in a manner familiar to us before these strange times.

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 43 January 2021 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 43.