Page 29 - July 2020
P. 29

Though our diaries have been emptied of attending events, meeting and catching up with old and new friends over a cup of coffee (or perhaps something stronger at the Dr’s) or one of the wonderful halls; the spirit of service, fellowship and harmony continue. As this issue of Salamander and the newsletters the ESCB have circulated demonstrate, we are all continuing to communicate and inform all Members of how the Company keeps operating.
We are still welcoming new Members and their applications via the usual request to the Clerk for the forms. And though we are not able to host our interviews at the Wax Chandlers’, like many of you, we have embraced video conferencing. Recommendations will now be taken straight to the ESCB; which as you know is meeting weekly. So currently a very swift process from start to finish. Could this be an incentive to start the ball rolling for one of your friends, colleagues or family member?
Please let the Clerk, myself or anyone else from the ESCB or Membership committee know, as we all will be more than pleased to assist. Stay safe and see you again soon.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK in March this year and our new Emergency Strategic Co-ordinating Board (ESCB) was formed I was pleased to find myself part of the team set up to manage the Company. Responding to the needs of our members was considered paramount.
Having been Almoner for nearly five years now I had, up until then had a fairly easy ride, a few phone calls made, with letters and cards sent was something I enjoyed doing. On picking up the role I soon realised that I had a hard act to follow on the sad passing of my predecessor Liveryman Terry Baldwin. Terry, had been a great friend to so many, was a kind and generous man, totally open hearted and non judgemental. Mindful that the core role of an Almoner is to be the “eyes and ears” of the Company, to ensure the welfare of its members, I decided that Terrys’ example was the way ahead.
So as part of the ESCB my task, with the assistance of others, was to contact every member of the Company to make sure they were well, and if not, to offer support. Hence we individually contacted some 208 of our members and set about tracing a very small number (8) who had appeared to have fallen off the radar. We were successful in many other cases tracking them down to new homes in sheltered housing, their hide-outs in Manilla, Sanai, Spain, France Germany and even Stanmore!
It was a great pleasure to speak with so many cheerful people given the circumstances, especially valuable to a few who are living alone. As one put it, “I am rushing around slowly” Part of the Almoners role
is to spot those who we may have not seen or heard of for a long time and thankfully this pandemic has enabled me to reconnect with two friends, both of whom I now have regular chats until circumstances will allow me to go and visit them! Of all our members I am delighted to report that only 7, yes SEVEN, had contracted COVID-19 and at the time of writing are either fully recovered or well on their way to better health.
As I said this has been a team effort so I am also very grateful to our Honorary Chaplain, Rev George Bush, who has been standing by to support your spiritual needs if needed. Likewise those on ESCB who have also been in touch with members and keeping me up to date.
What I would ask our members to do is to identify anyone they become aware of that needs some support or maybe just a chat. It makes all the difference to people. Taking over from Terry Baldwin was a real privilege and I very much look forward to being at your side should you ever need me. Remember, the Rev George Bush is also there for you if needed. He can be contacted on Mobile phone number 07796 846891 or
  Past Master Peter Cowland Almoner
Under Warden Nicole Hoffmann Membership Chair
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