14th March 2020
Dear Brother and Companion,
Consequent to the Cornonavirus Update issued by Dr David Staples FRCP, CEO and Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) earlier today, the Executive have met to discuss the impact on our Province and its Brethren and Companions.
The Executive fully supports and reiterates the advice issued by UGLE. namely:
The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master / Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and Executive wishes to be clear; they do not want Brethren and Companions in the groups identified by UGLE to attend meetings due to the risk to their health and well-being. They understand that meetings may need to be abandoned as a result of these measures but wish to reiterate that the Book of Constitutions (Rule 137) states that there is no power to cancel any regular meeting. If Dispensations are required to cover changes during this period these can be applied for from the Provincial Secretary. Advice on abandoning meetings is repeated at the end of this document (pages 3 and 4).
As a result of these measures the Executive will adopt a similar approach. Until you are advised differently, the Provincial Team will not attend Installation meetings. Several members of the Joint Executive fall into the categories highlighted by UGLE and Provincial Teams travelling the length and breadth of the Province may contribute to further spreading and worsening of the outbreak. Lodges and Chapters with forthcoming Installation meetings will be contacted separately regarding this point. Several Provincial events may be affected as a result of these measures.
The Provincial Grand Almoner will work with his team to ensure that those Brethren and Companions that require additional help will receive it.
This is clearly a time of great uncertainty and change. Many Lodges and Chapters will have to adapt in order to comply with the requirements set out by the Book of Constitutions, but the advice is clear. The health, well-being and safety of our Members is paramount. All other factors are of secondary consideration. A relaxed attitude to this outbreak is not appropriate when the age demographic of our Province is considered. The situation is clearly evolving daily, and we will issue further advice where appropriate; possibly in addition to that issued by the Government and UGLE.
Please think of your Brethren, Companions and family at this time, especially those who may be more vulnerable to illness, and perhaps telephone them to see how they are coping.
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
Anthony C Trumper
Provincial Grand Secretary