You Are Here: Home > Coronavirus page



Next Humber Meeting

Tuesday 12th October at Dagger Lane

Third Degree Ceremony

 Ensure you have booked in for the festive board!


Blogs from the Annual Convocation at York Race Course - hear it from the horses' mouths! (Blog Page, 11th September 2021)


  Dales Lodge hands in its warrant: see Blog Page.

Invictus Double Bubble: see Blog Page.



Last update
September 24, 2021, 22:11
Sitemap & Print view

Coronavirus page

4th August 2021

Message from UGLE published in "First Rising"

This is heartening news: at the time of writing, the Humber Lodge has three Initiations and a Raising in the pipeline.


Legal restrictions on meeting in England have largely been lifted now, with individual Freemasons and Lodges free to make their own decisions about whether to meet and what, if any, restrictions to adopt. The position is similar in Wales, with meetings able to take place now and unmodified ceremonies expected to be permitted from 7 August. In the Districts the picture is varied as District Grand Masters impose emergency restrictions to comply with local law or practice as appropriate. As a reminder, the stance of the United Grand Lodge of England remains as follows:

1. In holding Lodge and Chapter meetings it is essential that Brethren and Companions comply with all legal requirements from time to time in force.
2. Provided that they do so, it is not UGLE’s policy to impose restrictions on meeting beyond those required by the law.
3. No pressure must be applied to anyone either to attend or refrain from attending meetings.
4. The same principle applies to the wearing of face coverings, which should be regarded as a matter of personal choice.
5. The use of the modifications to the ceremonies, introduced in the summer of 2020 to enable ceremonies to be performed, should cease as soon as is practicable, except where local legal requirements are imposed in relation to such matters as social distancing.
6. The ceremony of Raising (and of Exaltation in the Royal Arch) is once again permitted.
7. It is nonetheless sensible to ensure that a candidate for any degree, and in particular that of initiation, is made aware that the ceremony he will undergo will involve a measure of physical contact, so that he can make his own decision as to whether to proceed with it at this time.
8. Regulations 5 to 11 of the Temporary Emergency Measures for Covid-19 remain in force, to the extent that they are needed, until 31 December 2021, or such earlier date as the Grand Master or the Pro Grand Master on his behalf shall direct. The Pro Grand Master directed that Regulations 1 to 4 ceased to apply from 19 July 2021 (in England) and shall cease to apply from 7 August 2021 (in Wales) except in relation to the unexpired period of a suspension already notified in accordance with them.


15th June 2021

Yesterday, 21st June, was intended to mark the end of virus restrictions in the UK, but the emergence of new Covid variants in the UK (especially the virulent Delta Variant first identified in India) has brought about a delay in the four-step roadmap for another month. 19th July is now the "terminus date" for Covid measures unless a "far more dangerous" variant emerges.  Watch this space.

The political platforms have lobbied for attention as those with 20-20 hindsight vision gripe about "what should have been done" but we are an increasingly whinging society. As someone with no political axe to grind, I find the most threatening issues to be on the streets - those that do not wear masks, or leave their noses uncovered, and wander through the supermarkets handling the food, and those that ignore the precautions believing they don't apply in their case. Then there are those with conspiracy theories, those who argue the coronavirus represents divine judgement, and those who are scared to leave their homes. Others dismiss it as "just flu", conveniently forgetting that the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 killed an estimated 228,000 people in the UK - the first year on record in which deaths exceeded births.

The world has changed enormously to accommodate the virus, and will continue to change. To fail to change is to die.

27th April 2021

There have been sixty-five changes in tne law regarding social interaction in just over a year which has led at times to confusion. Occasionally Provincial directives have been superceded by UGLE instructions - the heartening factor is that both worthy bodies are keeping an eye on the situation, continually tracking current regulations and advising accordingly.

The brilliance of the scientists in different parts of the world in producing effective vaccines cannot be understated. In the UK to date almost 46.3 million doses have been given - more than 33.7 million people have received their first dose and almost 12.6 million are fully vaccinated. A new TV promotion lends hope that all adults will have the offer of a jab by the end of July and they will take advantage of the offer.

There is a sense of hope that within the foreseeable future we will be able to gather together without masks. Masonically a tentative programme has been put together for many Lodges, including Humber 57.

However, the virus continues to spread elsewhere and there are variant strains. Studies have found the Pfizer and Moderna shots are protective against the variants identified to date. "Pandemic fatigue" is becoming an issue with people feeling demotivated. This is affected by the cultural, social, structural and legislative environment. Some people have undergone unprecedented hardship during the pandemic, and we should be aware of the profound impact is has on their lives.

Elsewhere in the world, the situation is horrendous. India's coronavirus surge has left hospitals and crematoriums overwhelmed; there is a widespread shortage of oxygen and ventilators. Whether this is a result of a particularly nasty variant is as yet unclear. As only about 10% of India's population has been vaccinated; the mass gatherings in India with political and sports events, plus religious festivals have still involved millions of people and have promoted the spread of the deadly virus. India has a population of 1,391,068,597 (today's figures) equivalent to 17.7 of the world's population. Mumbai has a population of over twelve million.

So many medical problems are the product of environmental and social disruptions, often caused by economic conflict between nations. Other hazards occur with fertilizers, hormones, herbicides and pesticides introduced into the food chain; global warming is becoming an increasing issue with the change in atmospheric gases and the ecological balance between land and sea, the erosion of the ozone layer. Deaths through cancer are increasing; one cannot but wonder at the increasing influence of radiation, the spread of diseases to new habitats and the migration of microbes.

As Freemasons, we are taught to be cautious. Perhaps this is a lesson that needs to travel beyond the Craft.




3rd December 2020

Kingston-upon-Hull is now in Tier Three: hospitality venues are closed, except for delivery and takaway services. Today's government figures show that Hull has seen another 234 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, and the East Riding of Yorkshire has another 173 new infections. The city continues to be one of the worst hit areas in England. While some authorities opine that the virus will always be with us, the UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination. The jab (or two jabs - it is a a dual process) offers 95% protection, though there are logistical challenges in supplying it. It is still too early to say when curbs will be eased.

Masonically there are no meetings, though Zoom get-togethers are becoming increasingly popular. Humber 57 enjoys regular Zooms: our next meeting will include a raffle for the Almoners' Fund; to date over £700 has been raised - well done, Brethren of what continues to be the premier Lodge in the Province! (By the date of the draw, £775 had been raised.) Well done, Brethren!


18th November 2020

Hull is now the worst affected area in the UK and infection rates are still rising. Currently there are 1,976 cases in the city, 3.9% more than last week. Hospital staff are now treating more Covid-19 patients than at any point in the first wave of the pandemic. Nationally there are an estimated 1,30,341 cases (19,609 daily) with the total UK deaths at 53,274.

All is not doom and gloom, however: the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech  appears to protect 94% of adults over 65 years old, while the US vaccine Moderna suggests nearly 95% protection. These use an experimental approach called mRNA, which involves injecting part of the virus's genetic code into the body, prompting the immune system to produce antibodies and activate T-cells to destroy infected cells. In Russia similarly promising results are suggested from trials of a vaccine called Sputnik. It is still unclear how long vaccine protection lasts and if it stops people transmitting the virus. 

The vaccine designed by the Belgian company Janssen uses a genetically modified common cold virus to train the immune system. Any one company, however, would struggle to immunise the planet and many types of vaccine are likely to be needed to end the pandemic.


2nd November 2020

In view of the latest Government restrictions announced on 31st October 2020, the MW The Grand Master, His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, KG, has directed that all Lodge meetings in England will be suspended with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Thursday 5th November until such time as those restrictions are lifted. 


The ME The Grand Principals have given a similar direction in respect of Chapter meetings in England.




31st October 2020

The Prime Minister announced early this evening that from 5th November the country will go into lockdown until December 2nd. (And it could be longer.) All Lodges are automatically closed down. The coronavirus is spreading rapidly, and severe measures are needed if we are to overcome it. Figures worldwide show a huge spurt in infections: over 45.9 million have tested positive to the pandemic, 29.8 million have recovered, but there are over 1.19 deaths. Let me exhort you all to keep safe.


29th October 2020

Hull and other parts of East Yorkshire are under Tier 2 Restrictions from the 1st November for fourteen days, after which it will be reviewed, so the meeting under the Rule of Six on the 10th cannot now take place, though the Zoom story of Tom Lee as a policeman will of course continue as intended. On the Wednesday before that, there will be a Zoom committee meeting (all welcome -  4th November 6.30) and hopefully we will look positively at the way forward even though the coronavirus appears to be becoming even more virulent and is impacting all over the world.

14th September 2020

Letter from the WM following ruling that no more than six may meet Masonically


As expected, UGLE has advised that we comply with the spirit of the law. Until the “Rule of Six” is lifted, meetings will be more difficult than ever, I’m afraid.

However, I intend to go ahead with the second-degree ceremonies of Brother Thundercliffe in October and Brother Morrison in November. The ritual has needed some adjustment so that it can be performed by five people, but it can be done.

Inevitably it means that some who have been busy learning ritual will be disappointed, and I apologise, trusting we’ll be able to hear them in action on some future occasion. In October, assuming there is no legislative reversal, Jack’s ceremony will be conducted by the WM doubling as Chaplain and delivering the working tools; Bro Neil Bell as SW with the substantial ritual needed in that role plus other parts; Bro Chas Alexander as JW plus the address at the SE Corner; W Bro Craig Maurier as DC, Inner Guard and Deacons as well as delivering the Ancient Charge; while  W Bro Ian Syddall as the Secretary will double as Tyler and also communicate the secrets.

My big concern is that we don’t lose touch with each other. Mark Lindsay and others are communicating on Facebook – and Mark frequently alludes to the website thereon. There’s no Humber WhatsApp (yet – anybody interested?) but many of you have joined us with Zoom on occasion. Well done, chaps – keep talking!

I intend to keep our Zooms going strong (it wasn’t a Humber decision to use Microsoft Team this month) and would welcome any ideas for these meetings, so that we have the opportunity for social chat and also to share some Masonry. Some of you have already enhanced our website with observations, articles and nuggets and I’m keen to have similar initiatives on the Zoom screen. We are blessed with an unflappable Zoom Master in the person of W Bro Maurier and he can usually find some way of putting ideas into practice. I have no objection to casual dress on these occasions.

Would any of our Brethren be prepared to talk to us about their lives pre-Masonry? It could take the form of an interview if you prefer. We’ve had a couple of quizzes already – has anyone any questions about FM that could be discussed?

I welcome your ideas and applaud your loyalty.

Sincerely and Fraternally


[Brother Thundercliffe being unavailable, Brother Morrison was succesfully passed to the Second degree on this occasion]


4th July 2020

W Bro Gordon Wiles has completed the Rocking Horse! (Scroll down to 9th June for a picture of Gordon and his horse-in-progress.) He sent us a photograph of the completed project: what a delight for the grandchildren! 

I asked Gordon if he could tell us more about his project: here is his response.

My love for the horse dates back to the 1940’s. My Father served in the 1st World War. He was shot straight through the chest removing a large section of flesh from his back on its way out. He survived but suffered horrendous health with chest problems.

He had my totally blind mother and five children. His daily avocation was Shire Horses. I was the young one so I shared his love for the horse. Each Sunday he would take me to the stables, select one of the Shires, promptly place me on its back and take me in town to the “HOSS WASH”. During any air raid he would leave his family of five under the stairs: his priority was the Stables and the Shires. After the raid he would return home and check on the family.

Sadly in 1946/7 the Shires became redundant along with my father. The winter of 1947 killed him; he was only fifty, and myself still a child of eleven years.

That explains my love for the horse. My life has never allowed me to be involved with horses, however.


I found the current Lock-down worse than the war.

I had cleaned my workshop and made the decision that I was to old to use my skills ever again. Depression was coming on me.

It was my eldest Grand Daughter on the telephone who changed my mind. "Grandad," she said, "you must get involved in one of your projects."

My brain took control. You need a plan? Look in your archives! There it was, God knows how many years it had been there - I assume from when our Boys were children and I'd never had the time to produce it for them.

The Timber. I decided what I required: 'Tulip wood’ this an American Poplar, and Sapele Mahogany for the stand, I rang the hardwood merchant I had used for sixty years - I'd met the current manager joining the company when I left school.

    "I'm very sorry, Gordon, we are closed; we're only preparing orders for the NHS," he said.

I told him If I did not get something to do I would soon be part of the NHS for all the wrong reasons. The boss organised special delivery to my home by 4th May.

I couldn't move the very rough large sections without Joy to help. We took our time. At our age we do not rise early or the days are too long.

Slowly, slowly we reduced the timber to our planned sizes: you cannot afford to have any waste.

Having spent most of my time in management on the phone requiring daily progress reports and with customers wishing to know when their items would be delivered, it was a pleasure to work and create without a time limit.

Hence the completed item. The perfectionist, however, is never completely satisfied: one always feels one could do better.

Here endeth my story on how to avoid the depression of coronavirus.

Peace be with you and keep you safe,

Gordon and Joy Wiles.



27th June 2020

Brother Angus Littlefield and his wife Kay are particularly vulnerable and take precautions regarding the covid-19 pandemic. In reply to a telephone message, he has sent the following email, which may be of interest.

We are in total isolation: even now three months down the line, shopping goes into the shed for 72 hrs before it is brought into the house. Letters coming through the letter box too are not touched for the same length of time. 

We do think about you and our dear friends from the the Humber Lodge.

As you know Kay and I locked down on 29th February, not leaving our property and relying on three of Kay's friends to get us provisions.

Although only 8 miles east of Chester, we live in a rural environment and the supermarkets around here shockingly poor and we cannot get any delivery slots for food.


We have all been bombarded by information and misinformation about Covid 19 for months now and it is so important to distinguish between the two. Here is a very helpful article from Johns Hopkins University in the US. It never does any harm to remind ourselves about what matters – and what DOES NOT – about this disease.


















Best wishes

Angus & Kay



9th June 2020

This would have been the day of our regular meeting, but even with the lock-down slightly relaxed there was no possibility of the Lodge getting together at Dagger Lane. However the date is not without significance: two of our senior Brethren merit particular mention. The Worshipful Master was pleased to organise delivery of a bottle of wine to Gordan and Joy Wiles to celebrate Gordon's fortieth year as a Craft Freemason on this day. Gordon and his wife are in good form, though continuing to isolate; Joy is meticulously organising the garden, while Gordon's current project is the construction of a rocking horse which he hopes will be enjoyed by his grandchildren - and later on, their grandchildren, for generations to come.  Gordon is a Master Carpenter.

"We don't usually get visitors this early in the morning," he said, "but it is nice to see you." He posed for a photograph before picking up the parcel and card on the doorstep. "But I'm all untidy," he grumbled, "I'm not looking smart." 

Not so, Gordon. Colour coordinated and as elegant as ever, it is a privilege to congratulate you on four decades in the Craft while maintaining the necessary social distancing, and to wish you and Joy all the very best for the future.

The next call was to John Proudley, one of our oldest members, who is celebrating his eighty-ninth birthday today. He had been hoping to be at the Lodge to do this, but as none of us can be there, we'll drink John's health in absentia at the Zoom Meeting.

John Raymond Proudley served in the navy and met Prince Philip, who, he has confided to the Brethren "was a proper sailor - a real seaman." He continued his career at Brough as a draughtsman at Hawker Siddeley, later British Airospace. 

He joined Freemasonry on 20th June 1966, joining the Holderness Lodge 3563, which at that time met in Withernsea. The Holderness Lodge has since moved to Hull, and John is now an honorary member. John had held various offices over the years, and received Provincial Promotion to Provincial Grand Steward in 1988. A modest and unassuming man, John was reluctant to aspire to be Worshipful Master, but was persuaded to take the Chair in 2012, Holderness's centenary year.

He received a field promotion to Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon during that year, from the then Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Richard John Anderson. This, he confessed afterwards, had taken him by surprise. "I don't think I did anything to deserve that honour," he said.

John was a frequent visitor to the Humber Lodge 57 and became a Joining Member in 1989. He became a member of the Humber Chapter in 1996.

It was a pleasure to greet him (at two metres distance) and to ensure he picked up his bottle of wine and birthday card. We will drink your health, John, at the Zoom Meeting this evening! Many Happy Returns!


19th May 2020

Richard Smedley has been doing extensive work in the garden. Here is his account.


So what does a Mason do without Freemasonry?


Dear Brethren

So what does a Mason do when in lockdown from his Freemasonry? There is of course a plethora of answers, and many are equally beneficial to himself, his family or his community.

In my house, the hiatus that is the Annual Provincial Convocation is immediately followed by Hessle West Open Gardens in which we participate. The open garden scheme has been run for many years around the country and raises money for a number of local and national charities. Hessle West Open Gardens consists of about twenty houses in the village who open their gardens to the public. Some of those houses not only open their gardens to view but sell refreshments, plants, ice creams or occasionally have live entertainment. Each year the event raises in excess of £8000 through entry fees and sales. Half of all proceeds each year goes to Dove House Hospice and the other half is usually split between a small group of local charities. The Scouts get a sizeable donation as each year they provide and drive their minibus around a constant circuit of the houses to aid those who can’t walk round the whole village to visit those gardens on the outskirts.

So what do we need to do to achieve a garden to be proud of, or at least not to be ashamed of? Simply put – bloody hard graft!

She who must be obeyed (my good lady wife – Isabel) and I start work in January each year and finish at 10:29am on the morning of Open Gardens ready to open the gates at 10:30am, often to queuing families out early to miss the crush.

Typically my twin sons take it in turns to sit at the entrance to the garden collecting entry money whilst I perambulate around the garden welcoming visitors. Isabel, who is the font of all gardening knowledge, answers those questions beyond “Who mows the lawn?” for it is well known that my role in the garden is to only dig where I am told and only cut what has been pointed out to me. Any other action could suffer the wrath of the titans multiplied ten-fold.

For the last two years I have been working in London during the week and only home at the weekend; the minimum work on the garden has therefore been undertaken in that period. It was apparent that the flora of the garden had snuck up on me in that time. My wife in her dulcet tones considered it to be a good move to go through the garden and remove the ivy that had surreptitiously crept up trees, along hedges and flourished in those areas less than regularly visited. I pulled at the first section of ivy and continued for the next seven muscle-tiring days, gradually collecting and piling it up for disposal. Some of it was almost as thick as my wrist. The pile continued to get larger each day until as you can see we had quite a bonfire.

The greenhouse was emptied and cleaned and prepared for an abundance of seedlings to be raised for the vegetable plot.

 The rotovator was dusted off and the vegetable patch was dug, rotovated and tilthed. Potatoes were planted and what was once a wasteland of weed returned to an orderly and productive part of the garden.

And so to the garden itself. Compost bins were emptied, mulch dug in and well-rotted manure brought a new fragrance to the neighbours. Which reminds me of a piece of corporate text I found which may amuse those in management.





~Today's reading is from the Book of Corporate Life, Chapter 1, verses 1-15~ 

In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the Plan was without Substance.
And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.
And the Workers spoke among themselves saying, "It is a croc of sh*t and it stinks."
And the Workers went unto their Supervisors and said, "It is a crock of dung and we cannot live with the smell."
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers saying, "It is a container of organic waste, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."
And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying, "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."
And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another, "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."
And the Directors went to the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, "It promotes growth, and it is very powerful."
And the Vice Presidents went to the President, saying unto him, "It has very powerful effects."
And the CEO looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.
And that is how sh*t happens.

Uncannily it is also how I get to do all the less than glamorous jobs around the garden. Isabel produces the PLAN and I eventually have to follow policy. Many of you menfolk may feel some sympathy with this position!

One of the areas of the garden for which I am much maligned is my water feature. For those in the know, this masterpiece of engineering and architecture was formed out of two baths that I ripped out of the house during renovation and I couldn’t be bothered taking them to the tip.

Anyway, since that day, my wife and children have always experienced much hilarity as I sit explaining to the garden’s visitors what a masterpiece of sustainable engineering and recycling it is.

After several months of hard work, the day dawns that is Hessle West Open Gardens and some of my friends and Brethren I know have visited and enjoyed a glorious Spring day wandering around noseying into our gardens.

Most memorably for me in this period of meteoric calm after the storm, was the year when Isabel was almost apoplectic with rage when a gentleman who was quietly wandering around the garden was periodically seen to point and utter under his breath “WEED”, “WEED”. An enraged Spaniard holding it together is itself a picture to behold.

Anyway Brethren, as you all know, this year Covid 19 has put the kibosh on the social gathering that is Hessle West Open Gardens. However we have continued to work in the garden as much for our own wellbeing as the need to prepare the garden for those non-existent visitors. I hope you enjoy the photos below.




This year, many charities will have lost their funding through the difficulties of Covid 19. Those charities which we support for Hessle West Open Gardens are no different. Isabel and I hope that we can continue supporting these charities for many years to come and maybe we will see many more of you wandering around our garden next year to replenish the coffers so denuded this year.


All our thoughts to you and your families

Richard & Isabel Smedley.





8th May 2020


May Day, traditionally held on a Monday, has this year been moved back four days to Friday the 8th, to coincide with VE Day, celebrating Victory in Europe, seventy-five years after World War 2 - the day when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe. 


While this is not a vehicle for any political observations, I must confess I chuckled when one of our members sent a meme on WhatsApp.


This is the second time the May Day Bank Holiday has been moved - the first time it was changed from 1st May to 8th May 1995 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the event.


However, the extensive celebrations anticipated some months ago have not taken place; the Coronavirus lock-down has prevented the street gatherings and parties which might have been anticipated, and though the Red Arrows performed with Red White and Blue and suitable programmes were aired on radio and TV, the invidious prescence of another enemy could not be ignored. Hull is not as badly affected as some other cities, but between 29th February and 24th April there have been fifty-two coronavirus-related deaths. At the time of writing, the UK has suffered over 31.000 fatalities.


Despite this, there have been celebrations for VE Day. Our Royal Arch Representative spent time with the family in the garden for a barbecue; David Terry and Marion dressed in red, white and blue and drank wine while Johny Spitfire sang war-time melodies and spent the afternoon in the garden enjoying the fabulous weather with which we've been blessed. In the early evening, I opened the front room window and played a piano selection of war-time favourites for the neighbours, some of whom sang along. I concluded with "Land of Hope and Glory". The spirit of victory despite overwhelming odds has seemed to pervade the country, and the Queen's speech invoked the Blitz spirit, saying "We will succeed and better days will come."


Never despair.


Andrew Paulls sent a photograph of a WW2 jeep that was on Omaha Beach which he'd seen in Withernwick on VE Day. It survived, he told me, because its engine failed. Andrew said he'd spent the afternoon with a few beers reflecting on that event and the parallels with the current crisis.


Richard Smedley had been labouring in the garden: he and Isobel subscribe to the Open Garden Scheme (unlikely to happen this year, alas) and was enjoying the break from work - unlike many, he is extraordinarily busy as a number of huge projects have to be completed by the end of the month. Richard's account appears above.


Phil Watts had also turned his attention to the garden. Linda told me he was very good at it.


Trevor Whitfield had decorated the outside of his house with a large union flag ("It's only a union jack if flying on a naval vessel" he informed me) and huge red, white and blue rosettes. The village had put out bunting, and though the villagers were self-isolating, there was a tremendous atmosphere. 




29th April 2020

Message from the WM

Thanks, chaps!

A brief note here to say thank you. I've spoken to most of the Brethren by telephone over the past month and a half, many more than once. Our Almoner, David Terry, is, of course, doing the same, and I know our Charity Steward, Malcolm Forbes, has been keeping an eye on things. I am so impressed by the ways you have all found to cope with the situation. Our older Brethren (and their wives) have been self-isolating, but remain cheerful and positive. Ken Graham told me he regrets the lock-down restrictions: he won't be able to attend the Lodge in June as this date coincides with his ninetieth birthday, but assured me that he and Brenda are well stocked up with food. "Everything will be different after this," he sagely remarked.

It has been a real pleasure to chat with the Brethren; and this has been reciprocated in many comments. Emoticans and Emojis are all very well, but no substitute for a conversation. I learned about one Brother who had left food in his caravan, so when to collect it before the lock-down, another who's routine now includes walking to the village for his morning paper, and that a lighted candle in the window is a sign of Methodist solidarity.

Masonic dogs are enjoying more exercise than ever before.

Some Brethren are still working, some from home. Some are furloughed, or reduced to half time. Some are out of work and looking for opportunities (not easy in the current situation) some have been quarantined (and are now thankfully found to be virus-free.) I was given an insight into delivery problems - one Brother told me that there was a problem getting supplies out of Europe. "I ordered fifty-five lorries of Heineken the other day and they could only supply ten," he told me when I grumbled I'd run out of Fosters.

I learned about carving handrails for staircases, about singers unwillingly isolated on cruise liners, of allotments and fence painting, about the new regulations for funerals, of moving house, of watercolours and repairing bird tables. I learned from fathers about Masonic sons - and vice versa.

Let me thank those who have freely given of their time and mobility to others. There have been offers to do shopping for those unable to get out - our two recent Brothers, Jack Thundercliffe and Craig Morrison have told me that if I know anyone with a problem, they'll be happy to assist. Michael Coates and Mark Lindsay has said the same, Sergei Byelov has told me he's happy to help - I'm so proud of you all - not only those named, but others who have made themselves available, have contacted nearby Brethren and offered assistance. Sometimes a phone-call is all it takes.

Let me conclude by saying well done to Brother Ashley Tong, who has been recognised at work for the 500+ hours he's put in as an NHS volunteer. He's been driving round delivering prescriptions when not working offshore. He's also a call-out electrician. He, too, has offered to help anyone in the Lodge should they need it. He was one of my students when he was a schoolboy - and he still hasn't changed much fifteen years later!

I'm proud, and humbled, not only to be a Freemason, but to be part of this, the Humber Lodge in particular. And it's all down to you. Thank you, Brethren.


Eddie Wildman




22nd April 2020

Message from the Secretary

This has been sent out as an email to all Brethren, but it is so important, it is reproduced here.


Looking after your Mental Health

For any of us who have been on an aeroplane, we have seen the safety message from flight attendants who urge us, in case of emergency, “put your own oxygen mask on first”. They tell us to do this so that, if an emergency happens, you will be in a better situation to help other people who may be struggling.

At this difficult time, it is important to have the same focus on your mental health and wellbeing . . . especially if you’re volunteering – you can’t help anyone if you’re not looking after yourself first. Burnout is a risk factor and, if you don’t look after yourself properly, you could end up feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.

Let’s be honest, most of us feel a certain amount of stress regularly and, you know what, it’s a natural and healthy response to challenging situations – and, sometimes, it can be helpful in motivating us to crack on and get things done. But other times, stress can overwhelm us and when this happens it affects how we cope (or don’t) with our daily lives.

So it’s important all the time (but especially now) that you understand how stress affects you and how you can look after yourself and manage your stress levels.

Connect – Many of us are feeling disconnected. Do what you can to keep in touch with family and friends (phone/social media). It might be you feel you don’t have a lot of talk about, but perhaps use the time to reminisce or plan a get together when lockdown is over? If volunteering through an organisation, keep in contact with them, let them know what (and how) you’re doing.

Active – Taking up a new exercise hobby might not be for you but building some physical activity into your daily routine is great for your mental health. It doesn’t have to be a two hour workout! It can be five minutes of dancing in the kitchen, ten minutes of stretching, twenty minutes gentle walking round your block (staying two metres away from others, of course) or thirty minutes of housework (get that hoover going!) Your physical health is strongly connected to your mental health: – do more, feel better.

Check-in – Find some time to check in with your own feelings. Often we get so caught up in the ‘doing’ of things that we forget to think about how we’re ‘feeling’ about it all. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time out to do something that works for you . . . listen to some favourite music, have a leisurely bath, read a good book or start that jigsaw that’s been lying around the house for ages! Avoid alcohol to make yourself feel better – as a depressant, it can leave you feeling worse later on.

Learn – Learning can be a great way to relieve the boredom, distract from stress, build your confidence and have a really positive impact on your self-esteem. Obviously at this time it needs to be home-based but this could involve trying out new recipes or a free online course. It could be a craft (like sewing or knitting) or artier (like sketching or colouring-in) and, don’t worry, no one is expecting you to be Picasso but the pleasure of self-creating is empowering for us all.

Best Regards

Stay Safe,

Ian Syddall




March 2020


David Terry, our Almoner, has escaped incarceration in Spain! Here's his account of shut-down in Malaga!


Malaga – March 2020


Some years ago, Marion and I found ourselves in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. We had enjoyed a week sailing around and visiting some of the Galapagos Islands and were regrouping at a hotel before taking a small plane out to a lodge on the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon.  It would be cash only in this remote location.  This was no problem as I had plenty of travellers cheques (remember them?) and four different credit and debit cards.


The local bank and all subsequent banks we visited rejected our cheques.  We couldn’t understand why. The  cashiers had plenty to say to us but our Spanish was limited to “ dos cerveza por favor” !


Locating a bank of ATMs I tried my credit and debit cards, all of which were rejected followed by an unintelligible (to Marion and I) screen of Spanish text. I


t was at this point I started to panic and Marion uttered the words “This is ridiculous! I’m going to learn to speak Spanish”. She was as good as her word and on her return to the UK started her education under the tutelage of Isobel Smedley!


There’s no substitute when learning a language, I’m told, than to immerse oneself in the country itself. Frequent visits to Spain have been the order of the day since our Amazonian adventure.


Last year we spent a month in Malaga where Marion attended the Picasso Language School whilst I made an in-depth study of the local bars. I’m progressing, I can manage “una caña, por favor” or “ una copa de vino tinto, por favor”. Friends were made in the bars of Malaga old town so we decided to return this year and enjoy the spring sunshine, the fish platters and the rioja.


11th March 2020


We travelled to Leeds Bradford Britannia Hotel where we disinfected all surfaces; had probably the nearest thing to a school dinner I’ve had in years in the hotel restaurant (I’d forgotten what tinned carrots tasted like) and slept like a baby after partaking of “happy hour”.


The flight, courtesy of Jet2, was full. Crowds of young people heading off to Torremolinos and Benalmadena in search of sun, sangria and whatever else was available!   There were also a few more elderly folk wanting to ease their aching joints in the UV rays of the Costas.



Malaga appeared fairly busy as we were chauffeured to our apartment in Malaga Old Town where we were to meet an agent who would furnish us with keys for our ground floor, one bed apartment which was to be home for the next three weeks. It had security bars on the window and no patio. No problem, we were there to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, walks by the sea and being spoiled in the restaurants and bars.  This we did for the next thirty-six hours.  Then on the Sunday afternoon all bars and restaurants were told they must close at the end of play that day. All but essential travel was curtailed and folk were told to self-isolate.


 The trip to the small local supermarket was the highlight of the day, walking 2 metres apart for three minutes, me

hanging around on the street corner whilst Marion was held in a small, organised queue awaiting her turn to be let into the shop.  Shelves were reasonably well stocked and there was no panic buying.


The ubiquitous police presence may have something to do with the good behaviour of the Spanish folk?


We ate some interesting concoctions, prepared on the halogen hob and microwave and washed it down with wine or beer.


We read the books we had bought at the airport and watched CNN, Sky News and some Malaga TV. The latter made me realise what a good job the BBC and ITV do.


The police drove past the window of our apartment on a regular basis, stopping people who were out and about and enquiring as to the reason for their journey. Hefty fines could be issued.


 The realisation dawned that we should return home as soon as was possible. Jet 2 sent a text stating that our return flight which was 1st April (back in time for Humber Chapter Installation) was cancelled and gave us the comfort that we would be reimbursed at some stage during the next 28 days.


They had put on repatriation flights on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th March. I followed the link and discovered that we could both have seats on the plane if we parted with 855 euros each! 


Wifi in an apartment is essential these days and Marion was able to book a flight on Friday 20th with Ryanair who were not profiteering to the same extent.


The day of departure came and we ate the food left in our fridge and waited for our taxi to take us to the airport. We waited and began to panic; made phone calls to discover our driver had been stopped by the police who had set up a roadblock. He arrived, full of apologies, half an hour late. Never mind, plenty of time to get checked in. We hadn’t bargained on the roadblock on the main road heading out of town. All traffic was at a standstill. Fortunately our driver was a local who knew the back streets and we arrived at the airport in time to be checked in for the Ryanair flight.


It was interesting looking at the variety of homemade face masks that had been constructed by my fellow passengers. Mine consisted of a freshly laundered handkerchief tied around my mouth and nose in the manner I used to when I played cops and robbers as a child. Marion looked elegant with a scarf draped carefully around her neck, mouth and nose.


The flight home was only two thirds full so we were able to isolate ourselves somewhat but there was a collective flinch throughout the passengers when someone coughed. Congratulations must go to the cabin staff, who, although wearing masks, dealt with their charges in a most efficient and caring manner.


The taxi journey from Leeds Bradford Airport to The Britannia Hotel, where I had left my car, was relaxed. No lock down in the UK. Okay there had been some panic buying of toilet rolls but so what?


We arrived home late on Friday evening ready to start our two weeks of self-isolation, feeling incredibly grateful for being returned to Blighty where we had the comfort of our own home.


This virus does make me think about what is important to me and makes me incredibly grateful for the love and friendships that we share.


Brethren, stay in touch; look after yourselves, your families and your neighbours and KEEP WASHING YOUR HANDS!!!!


Stay safe,


Best wishes,


David Terry



 March 2020


Just before the lock-down, this photograph appeared in the Yorkshire Mason (which was obviously printed before the onset of the global pandemic) showing our own Junior Warden, Bro Charles Alexander presenting a cheque to the City of Hull Street Angels Charity, which looks out for vulnerable people. A tombola held during the day raised a further £600.

In these troubled times particularly we need to turn our thoughts to others: thanks, Chasa, you're a sterling example to us all!



[20th March 2020]