Lodge Widow, Mrs Rosalee Jaggard, congratulated by The King and the Craft

Every Almoner now plays an invaluable role in the Members’ Pathway, contributing to positive outcomes

On Friday 8th December 2023, the Almoner of Blackwater Lodge No 1977, Andy Hastings, made a special delivery of flowers to Mrs Rosalee Jaggard on her 100th Birthday. Whilst Andy was visiting, the King’s Birthday telegram arrived!

Blackwater Lodge meets at the St Giles Masonic Centre in Colchester where Rosalee’s late husband Fred was Inner Guard at the 100th year Anniversary meeting in June 1983 of the consecration of the Lodge in 1883.  Fred had been presented with his Grand Lodge Certificate in October 1977 but by 1996, when Alex Tracey wrote about the Lodge’s 100th year history, Fred had sadly passed on to Grand Lodge above.

The Lodge Almoner was considered by the Past Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes, as being at the heart of Freemasonry.  Past Provincial Grand Almoner, Nick Clarke, also of Blackwater Lodge, recently explained how privileged he still feels to have been in a position to have helped so many people.

In the Royal Arch, all the Companions and visitors of Abbeygate Chapter No. 4219, which also meets at Colchester, listen in awe as Paul Humprey, also a member of Blackwater Lodge, delivers his Chapter Almoner reports with feeling and passion for this important Office. Lodge and Chapter Almoners are fully supported by the Provincial Grand Almoner, Gary Hostler and his Deputy, Ray Heathfield, and the Provincial Almoners Team.   

Being an Almoner who can be approached in confidence for guidance or to help members and their families in difficult times, is a very special gift and a privilege.  Ensuring lodge widows do not feel forgotten, by arranging seasonal greetings cards and gifts or flowers for a special occasion, is both fulfilling and rewarding. Every lodge Almoner now plays a valuable role in the Members’ Pathway and can arrange to offer support as appropriate, particularly if a resignation is due to a decline in circumstances, such as finances or health.

For Andy Hastings, previously serving as his lodge’s Deputy Almoner has stood him in good stead to now be the Blackwater Lodge Almoner.  It was a marvellous and memorable experience for him to deliver flowers on behalf of the Lodge members just as the Birthday telegram from the King arrived. For Rosalee Jaggard, it will forever be a pleasant memory that on her 100th birthday she received congratulations at the same time from both The King and the Craft.

To find out more about  this privileged Office at the heart of Freemasonry  and how to become a Deputy Almoner ask your Lodge or Chapter Almoner or contact Gary Hostler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Ray Heathfied at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Photo: Blackwater’s Centenarian Lodge Widow, Mrs Rosalee Jaggard, and the Birthday telegram from the King, with Queen Camilla on the front.