March 23rd heralded the start of something really rather different. Lockdown!!
Immediately, we all had ourselves a new national obsession, born of viral necessity. All discussions of ‘can we?’ ‘can’t we?’ ‘could we?’ ‘should we?’ were decided for us.
W.Bro John Rawlins, current Master of Royal Somerset Lodge 973, meeting in Frome immediately seized the initiative with the intention of keeping his Lodge Brethren in touch with each other. He created a smartphone WhatsApp group, it being the simplest and most inclusive way of communicating with each other in ‘open’ conversation.
Many other Lodges have taken similar successful steps.
The WhatsApp group proved to be a great success whereupon Brethren from 973’s Daughter Lodge, Forest of Selwood 8912, also meeting at Frome were invited to join the group. Much fun and discussion then ensued…………
W.Bro John then decided to up the ante by setting the Brethren a weekly challenge.
They were to be entered into voluntarily, of course, but soon proved very popular, obviously tapping into the strong sociable spirit and competitive nature of the Brethren.
The first of these weekly challenges was a poetry competition which proved really rather popular, attracting many entries of various styles.
But who would be the judge?
An experienced Past Master and his wife were therefore appointed to judge the anonymously presented entries.
The winner was announced as Bro. Andrew Hickling, current Junior Deacon of 973. His entry is reproduced below. Very well done Andrew!
Era of Innocence.
By Bro. Andrew Hickling.
Dawn breaks, geese fly over my camper to their feeding grounds.
Cold grey start to another day only interrupted by their whooping.
As I look up, chasing their dream of pastures better, my mind wanders.
Being born in Aberhonddu, life seemed so distant, safe, and a world away.
Pen-y-Fan, a Welsh icon, looming up all majestic, visible from afar.
Naked grey hue, the kind of sight that lets you drift, like looking over The Levels
or back at the white cliffs when in a boat out of Lyme Regis on a sunny day.
Days of innocence long past and now distant.
In four short months, time stood still, every second like an hour,
every day like a week, heroes appear and, for some, the stiff upper lip ever present.
The common nurse, shop worker, bin man and police officer now elevated.
Heroes without even asking, just doing their jobs. Weren’t they heroes before?
Times are changing and something so small and invisible is placing fear in everyone.
Grown men hiding, women scared, kids bored and the world pulling together.
Only thing distant now is not looking back, but looking forward to the end.
Fragile, understating, basic and resilient. These are now our only needs and wants.
Stay safe till the end.
The Worshipful Masters and Brethren of Royal Somerset and Forest of Selwood Lodges wish that you and yours all remain healthy during these trying times and look forward to your company when we can next meet again. Stay safe!
Posted by W.Bro Andy Baird. PGLS ACO SW.