by John Crutchley, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
The ability of Freemasons to achieve great things when they work together never ceases to amaze me – especially during this time of unprecedented upheaval.
We have seen so many people stepping forward, without any prompting, to help others throughout the Province, and their efforts are really making a difference.
A prime example is the establishment of two Meals on Wheels services, being run in slightly different ways but with the same objective: to make sure those less able to manage for themselves are not left behind.
These efforts have two talented chefs at their heart; Mike Bristow in Louth and Stuart Frost in Sleaford. Neither could operate any kind of service alone, but others have rallied round them, Freemasons and non-Freemasons alike, to source ingredients and set up networks to collect and collate menus and distribute food. The result is that we have reached out to people who really need our help – and appreciate it more than we can know. Stuart has rung all of his ‘diners’ to find out about dietary requirements, and some have been so grateful for his help that they have been reduced to tears. Need I say more? We all live with those words ‘brotherly love and relief’, perhaps without really knowing what they mean. Well, for me, that’s a perfect illustration.
Mike is using his own commercial premises in Louth to supply diners in Louth, Horncastle, Spilsby, Skegness and Alford; Stuart is working at the Sleaford Masonic building to supply the town and surrounding villages.
Other examples of community support abound. The Grantham Curry Club members – younger Freemasons who meet for an Indian meal from time to time – have offered their support to work with Lodge Almoners in their town to run whatever errands might be necessary; Ray Newell in Lincoln is asking companies to donate any PPE they can spare to support front line healthcare workers; and Mark Hooton in Scunthorpe is at the heart of a project to make visors for NHS staff and those in working in care homes. So far his client list includes the RMBI and Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
No doubt there are examples of similar valuable work in your part of the Province. You may be involved in them, and I thank you for that.
All of this work highlights, for me, what lies at the heart of Freemasonry, and when we are able to get back to normal I feel certain we shall be reinvigorated, and will be able to look back with pride at what we, as a group, have been able to do for our communities in these dark days. Who knows; the public at large might come to see us as the force for good we already know we are. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful outcome?