We are currently experiencing unprecedented events and, as always, the safekeeping and welfare of every West Kent member is uppermost in my mind. To that end, I have scheduled weekly meetings with my Deputies and Provincial Secretary / Scribe E, to agree our approach on whether a number of forthcoming Provincial events should take place or be postponed.

I sincerely hope that our joint efforts will ensure that we minimise the high risk posed by the Coronavirus outbreak to our members – my most prized asset – and, due to the demographic of our membership, especially to our more elderly members. Our approach is to reinforce the messages of advice received from UGLE and wish to re-state the following: –

– If you or a family member are showing signs of illness, please do not attend your Lodge or Chapter meetings.

– If attending a meeting, wash hands thoroughly on arrival for 20 seconds with hot water, and again before the Festive Board,
– Members should refrain from any physical contact during the ceremonies, before or after meetings.
– Those over the age of 65 years old, and those with hypertension, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes should no longer attend Lodge and Chapter meetings for the foreseeable future.
– Meetings over 100 members should not take place.

In addition, I and the Craft and Royal Arch Executive, have decided to absent ourselves from all official meetings and visiting Lodges and Chapters for the foreseeable future, and the following Provincial events will not now take place as scheduled: –

21 March – “Demystifying the Honours System” at Dartford

30 March – Provincial Quiz at Oakley House

17 May – Provincial Church Service at Rochester Cathedral

As to our Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in May, I am almost certain that this is likely to fall in a period when the virus will still be at a peak and so further announcement on this event will be made in the near future.

Finally, I would ask you all to check on the more elderly and vulnerable members of your Lodges and Chapters, especially those that live alone, remembering that telephoning is probably safest for them rather than visiting in person.

I trust that the above is of assistance and am grateful for your support at this challenging time. Further advice will be circulated to you as soon as it is received.

 Yours sincerely and fraternally
Mark Estaugh
Provincial Grand Master / Grand Superintendent