Dear Brethren and Companions,
The present situation resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic is the most difficult and challenging time for us all.
Who would have thought that, in the 21st Century when mankind considers itself to be so technologically advanced and in control of our world, a simple cross-contamination between animals and humans occurring some 7,000 miles away in Wuhan, China could cause the global pandemic and world-wide mayhem that we are now experiencing via a highly contagious and potentially lethal airborne virus similar to a cold or flu ?
Surely, it demonstrates the frailty of mankind and is a ‘wake-up call’ to us all.
On this Mothering Sunday, my wife and I, like many of you, would expect to be celebrating this special day with our closest family and loved-ones and yet, because of the need for self-distancing or self-isolation, we are not able to do so.
My son, who is a senior clinical research scientist in the pharmaceutical sector and knows better than some the serious dangers and risks we currently face, has managed to Skype us so that we can see and speak to him, his partner and our three young grandchildren, whilst my daughter, her husband and their two teenage grand-daughters have also managed a WhatsApp communication with my wife, so we are not totally self-isolated.
But some of our Brethren and Companions will feel self-isolation most keenly, and I urge all the members of our Lodges and Chapters to keep in touch and support each other, whether via e-mail, telephone calls or social media, e.g. WhatsApp Chat Groups, but please do not leave this responsibility to your Almoner, who will likely be overwhelmed at this time and will need your help and assistance to enable him to fulfil his duties.
I am sure that, like me, you are already missing the camaraderie and companionship of our Masonic meetings and gatherings and The Pro Grand Master/Pro First Grand Principal, in his recent e-mail sent to all Brethren and Companions, has asked each one of us to make a toast to Absent Brethren at 9.00pm every evening during the four month suspension period to help us stay in touch as a Masonic community.
I shall be doing so this evening and I hope that you will all likewise do so.
Finally, I implore you, your family and loved ones to heed and strictly observe the medical advice and guidance that is being given daily in order to stay safe and well.
May God bless you all.
With kindest fraternal regards
Pro Provincial Grand Master for and
Grand Superintendent in and over Middlesex
Sunday 20 March 2020
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