On 1st September 2021, the first meeting back of Essex United Service Lodge No 3804 took place since the start of the pandemic
Arriving early, it was uniquely amazing to see each brother enter and warmly greet and be greeted. It was as if they hadn’t seen each other for eighteen months – which of course they hadn’t (other than via Zoom which proved better than nothing and telephone calls). To say happiness at meeting again is an understatement.
The Lodge has five Entered Apprentices and two Candidates approved for Initiation; yet wisely, in preparation for a big return to work, the Lodge chose to build the future on a reflection on the successes of the last eighteen months.
Indeed, the Buddy system was pioneered by Essex United Service Lodge and a week after the March 2020 lockdown, and although but a friend of the Lodge, it made this writer's day to receive a phone call.
The two highlights were the Almoners and Charity Stewards detailed Reports of eighteen months of intense service. They were both stunning in the extent of care extended to those in immediate need and for the wise raising and dispersal of the Lodge’s charity monies for those good causes directed at mitigating the effects of contagion. All as led by the Worshipful Master and supported by the brethren, each according as they were able. Also well enhanced by close working partnership with the Provincial Almoners and Charity Steward’s Teams.
Again, with the Centre being out of use, what a time, especially given the foreseeable workload, for the Harwich Masonic Hall Company to give the Lodge Room a major renovation, including increasing the lighting output, replacing the wooden wall panels and providing two display cabinets for proclaiming the long and proud history of Harwich Freemasonry.
This reflection on eighteen months of positive service provided a most solid basis for the Lodge to advance with a firm but humble confidence.