Kent Club Update
An update from the Chairman, W Bro Dudley Price PAGDC
As I write, once again from a locked down study in my home, I realise that the weather is doing its normal winter thing – vacillating between freezing and rain and that I find myself in a philosophical mood, pondering what changes to life, beyond the obvious, the Covid virus has wrought.
Clearly the lack of actual Masonic meetings has meant physically distancing from Masonic friends, but there are consequences which follow. More contact, either on the telephone, or via virtual platforms, with those who normally one would not see at meetings. More participation in talks and lectures, more looking at Solomon and less polishing of actual ritual for purposes of presentation. In fact, it is possible that I am making more daily advancements in Masonic knowledge after 40 years of being a Mason than at any previous time!
I find I have more time to read and have revisited several of the books on the shelves here at home, indeed some which have eluded me hitherto. The rediscovery of reading for pleasure has been an unexpected bonus. A sort of simplicity has returned to part of my life which allows more time for that part of the family still resident here, though home schooling of a granddaughter is an interesting challenge! When did mathematics become so complicated? Seemingly simple processes now seem to occupy acres of either paper or screen!
There is undoubtedly more time to do things more thoroughly, though external jobs are not to be extended – my fingers seem to feel the cold and lose their dexterity more rapidly than in the past.
In these simple ways I have found that the current restrictions have counter intuitively enriched my existence. Many of course have not slowed down and the last edition of this magazine advised us of the tremendous work being done by Masons everywhere. Some have enlisted on self-improving courses and undertaken serious study such as a new language, new hobbies, new charitable works or simply more exercise in an attempt to become physically fitter.
One hears an awful lot about mental health and doubtless for those who are worrying about their jobs or who have been made redundant, fearing losing their homes and keeping the proverbial wolf outside the door, it must be very stressful. I remember the feeling well when such setbacks arrived at my door. At the time it is small comfort to be told that these setbacks are temporary – but ultimately they are usually overcome. It must be even worse for those who have someone close in hospital with serious Covid, or indeed any other problems.
We all need to find strategies to deal with the more difficult aspects of the current situation and the Kent Club, thanks to its events team, has sought to assist in that by facilitating virtual presentations from W Bro Les Hutchinson, CEO of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, who spoke about his career in the Masonic charities and his plans for the future of the MCF; VW Bro Brigadier Peter Sharpe PGSwdB, a former AMetGM, who drew parallels between his military career and his civilian appointments thereby demonstrating the differences and the aspects of the training which carry into his current life.
By the time you read this we will have heard from Simone Enefer-Doy, CEO of Lifelites, and there are plans for further talks with those actively involved with our charities and indeed with Metropolitan Grand Lodge at a senior level. I wish to put on record my admiration and gratitude to those who have made the effort and contributed to these activities; they know who they are and have my respect.
One hopes that these diversions will assist you to fill the hours until, eventually, we are all inoculated against the virus and able to emerge, eyes blinking, into the beautiful dawn of our erstwhile reality.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 44 April 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 44.