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Edward H. Croghan delivered  baby clothes and toys to Abraham Kriel Home for Abandoned Children.

And seond-hand clothing to theWhite Squatter Camp in Springs

A POEM BY AN UNKNOWN BROTHER

THANKS TO VERY WORSHIPFUL BROTHER GRANT DEVINE, OF ERIN-GO-BRAGH LODGE No 370,
FOR SHARING THIS RATHER SPECIAL POEM.

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A further extension to Masonic activities

 

 

 

 

THE COVID-19 VIRUS PANDEMIC

 

With the inevitable arrival on our shores of the highly contagious, and potentially life-threatening disease, the heads of all Constitutions in the country have taken the unprecedented step of suspending all Masonic activity, across all Orders, until further notice.

It must be emphasised that this decision was not taken lightly, but was deemed to be the only responsible, course of action considering the virulence of the disease, and the ease and speed with which it is spreading.

 

These are the letters from the Heads of the Constitutions, advising their Brethren of the decision:

From the Provincial Grand Master of S.A.Northern, I.C. Rt.W. Br. Nic Benson:

“Dear Brethren
With due regard to the Presidents address last evening and after having communicated with The Grand Lodge of
Ireland this morning, I believe that the responsible course of action is to suspend ALL masonic activity until the end
of April 2020.
This instruction takes place with immediate effect and will continue until Thursday 30th April 2020, at which time it
will be reviewed, and a further decision taken, based upon the situation prevailing at the time.
It is important to note that the following correspondence has today been received from our sister constitutions:
1) The Scottish Constitution has suspended ALL masonic activity for a period of 30 days, effective
immediately.
2) The Grand Lodge of South Africa has suspended ALL masonic activity (including Royal Arch), indefinitely,
effective immediately.
3) The Netherlandic lodges have suspended ALL masonic activity for the foreseeable future.
4) I have been in telephonic communication with the English Constitution and anticipate a similar course of
action to be announced in due course, once approval has been received from the United Grand Lodge of
England.
Here is a quote from Adrian Gore, the CEO of Discovery Health which I believe is very relevant to our current
situation.
“The elderly are particularly at risk, which is not common across all viruses. The best thing you can do for your
elderly neighbours and relatives is to help them stay indoors (shop for them) but avoid seeing them in person if you
can. And remember this: democracies deal with emergencies by relying on personal responsibility and voluntary
behavioural change. Take this responsibility seriously. And demonstrate leadership. It is a common misconception
that leadership lies with government only. This is not true. Leadership is everywhere. Every employer, every
manager, every teacher, every public servant, every parent is a leader. Everyone who makes decisions on behalf
of other people is a leader. Every handshake is a decision. If you’re young and healthy and fall ill, you’ll most likely
be OK. But the best way to protect the groups at risk, like the elderly and those with chronic conditions, is not to
catch the virus yourself. Deny it the opportunity to use your body as a vector. Fight it”
Above all. Stay positive.
This day too shall pass.
Fraternally
Rt Wor. Bro Nic Benson PGM SA Northern”

From the District Grand Master, South Africa, North [UGLE]Prof E Guy Charlesworth.

Dear Brethren,
In addressing the coronavirus pandemic, I have received by e-mail an official communication from the Grand Secretary stating that District Grand Masters hold delegated authority to suspend Masonic activity in their District, if the situation warrants it.
Secondly, on 17TH March, The Most Worshipful Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent suspended all Lodge and Chapter meetings in England and Wales for a period of four months with immediate effect.
In terms of the delegated authority, I have therefore, suspended all Masonic meetings and activities in the District of South Africa, North effective from Monday, 30TH March until Tuesday 30TH June 2020, subject to further review.
This also includes our Lodges in Botswana, Mauritius and Eswatini (Swaziland).
As a consequence of the suspension, no Elections or Installations will be held during this period and Masters and Chapter Principals will continue in office, until the next scheduled Installation. Secretaries and Scribe Ezras are asked to contact the District Grand Secretary for further guidance.
No Masonic meetings will be held at Freemasons’ Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg during the same period.
The Office of District Grand Lodge will remain open, but all enquiries should be made to the District Grand Secretary, Wor.Bro. Roland Dunstan or to Mrs Fern Rowles by phone (011 643 3311/2) or by e-mail district@freemason-jhb.org.za. Visits in person are strongly discouraged.
All tenants at Park Lane should plan for the closure of Park Lane until 30TH June 2020.

 

From the District Grand Master, District Grand Lodge of Central South Africa, Br. J.Kerr.

Further to the President’s Address last night and after due consideration, I have come to the decision, that the
responsible action to take under the circumstances is to cancel ALL meetings, committee and regular within
the District.
This instruction takes place with immediate effect and will remain in place for a period of 30 days or until
otherwise advised.
During this time the District Grand Lodge will remain open but Brethren are encouraged to communicate
with the District Grand Secretary by phone ( 072 277 7459 ) or E-mail ( dgsec@districtgrandlodge.co.za ) as
personal visits must be kept to the minimum.
I understand that this action will be extremely inconvenient to some Lodges, especially those with upcoming
Installations, where preparations are at an advanced state but I believe this action is necessary as the health
and possibly the lives of Brethren are, by far, more important.
The District Grand Secretary and myself will communicate directly with the Lodges whose Installations are
scheduled during this period and agree on alterative arrangements.
As we have close contact with the Sister Constitutions in this District, I would strongly advise against any
visits to them in the next few days, until such times as they make their decision on the action they intend
taking.
There is no point in elaborating on the personal hygiene actions required by everyone in the country but I
strongly encourage you to abide by the measures instituted and by our responsible actions hope that we can
contribute to the early defeat of this pandemic.

 

From the Grand Secretary, the Grand  Lodge of South Africa.

Dear Brethren
Suspension of GLSA activities due Covid-19
The Grand Master has instructed me to advise you that all Masonic gatherings falling under the GLSA, including Royal Arch, are suspended, with immediate effect, until further notice. The situation will be reviewed on a weekly basis and you will be kept informed on any progress. Please ensure that this information is also communicated to any candidates or potential applicants.
Our members are urged to take all possible precautions to ensure the well-being of themselves and their families during these very challenging times.
For those of our members who belong to the AASR for South Africa, you should also be aware that they have cancelled all of their activities until further notice.

 

 

                       Guidance from the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland. {abridged}

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
This guidance document gives general advice about preventing the spread of COVID-19  .
While the guidance describes several practices specific to Freemasonry, people from other groups can adapt the advice to their specific requirements.

General recommendations for all.
If any members of your Masonic Body  feel ill and may have COVID-19 , even if their symptoms are mild, they should stay at home and follow this advice:
If you feel unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, high temperature)
AND
If in the 14 days before you became unwell, you have:
• travelled to an area with presumed ongoing community transmission of COVID-19, or
• been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, or
• attended/worked in a healthcare facility where patients with COVID-19 were being treated
then you should:
• Isolate yourself (i.e. stay separate from other people)
• Phone your GP without delay. Tell your GP/Emergency Services about your travel history and symptoms.
• It is important that you PHONE your GP first and talk to them rather than arriving at the GP surgery without contacting them so that you don’t put staff or other patients at risk of infection.
• Your GP/Emergency Services will advise you of the next steps over the phone.
If any members of your Masonic Body  feel well and have no symptoms, but in the past 14 days they have:
• travelled   from an area with presumed ongoing community transmission of COVID-19, or
• been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, or
• attended/worked in a healthcare facility where patients with COVID-19 are being treated they should phone the EMS for advice.
High risk groups
Those considered to be at higher risk for COVID-19 include the following:
• People aged 65 years and older
• People with long-term medical conditions – for example, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or liver disease
Reducing the spread of infection
You should always practice good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene. Hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene are a series of actions to take which are designed to reduce the spread of disease, including COVID-19, to yourself and others. These actions include regular handwashing and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or the bend of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
Physical interaction , e.g. Hand Contact
Most physical interaction during meetings, e.g. Hand Contact, involves a low risk of spreading the virus especially if members  who are unwell do not attend meetings while they are ill.
However, because COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been seen in people before, we need to exercise extreme caution to limit the spread of the virus. Current information suggests that COVID-19 can spread easily between people and could be spread from an infected person even before they develop any symptoms.
Further sources of information
Further information on COVID-19 is available on the HSE website at: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html
and the HPSC website at:
https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/

MORE INFORMATION ON DEALING WITH THE DISEASE

You have come into contact with someone that was diagnosed with the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) What now?
The incubation period (time from infection to showing symptoms) ranges between 2 to 14 days. If you develop any symptoms in this timeframe, you will have to be tested for the virus. Why not just test me immediately?
It takes time for the virus to multiply to a level where we can detect it with laboratory techniques. Can’t you just give me medicine in case I do have it?
Since this is a virus, any treatment is supportive – that means the symptoms are treated, but there is no medicine to kill the virus, you need to allow your body’s immune system to kill the virus. What should I do?
We are requesting you to self-quarantine. This means that although you do not have symptoms yet, you need to stay away from people to prevent the virus from spreading more. But can I give the virus to someone even if I don’t feel bad?
Yes, evidence suggest that you may be able to pass the virus to someone else even before you show symptoms. Can I go to work? It is advised to refrain from going to work, doing so may spread the virus to colleagues. Your general practitioner can provide a sick note to be shared with your employer. Can I go to school? It is advised to refrain from going to school, doing so may spread the virus to other students or teachers. Your general practitioner can provide a sick note to be shared with the school. Can I meet my friends?
It is advised to avoid social contact. Partaking in social contact may spread the virus to your family and friends. Can I go shopping, visit a public place or use public transport?
It is advised to refrain from visiting any public place (shops, churches, entertainment areas) or using public transport, doing so may spread the virus to other people. What am I supposed to do?
It is advised to stay at home during the monitoring period. To protect those around you:
• Clean your hands frequently, using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap
• Keep a distance from healthy individuals (not showing respiratory symptoms) as much as possible (at least 1 meter)
• Wear a medical mask as frequently possible
• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with disposable paper tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of the material after use and clean your hands immediately with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
• Improve airflow in living spaces at home by opening windows and door as much as possible How will I be monitored? We will send you a link via email every day to ask you if you are experiencing any symptoms. Please click on the link and answer the questions every day, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do not have access to email or internet, someone will call you every day to ask if you are experiencing symptoms. Please ensure that you will be available to provide this information. How long will I be monitored?
For 14 days after the last time you had contact with the person who had a confirmed infection with 2019-nCoV. What symptoms should I be looking out for?
A measured body temperature of 38°C or more, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, myalgia or body pains, diarrhoea (passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day). I have symptoms, should I wait for the email or call?
No, as soon as you develop symptoms, please contact your doctor immediately. He will advise you as to your next course of action.

IMG-20200319-WA0020[1]

This shows the importance of keeping surfaces clean, and washing hands.

How are you feeling? This may help, but if you are unsure of your symptoms, consult your doctor.