Lunch and tour of Buckfast Abbey for Freemasons Widows
ACROSS Devon there are around 130 members of the Freemasons Widows Association who, prior to Covid, met regularly in six regional groups where they invited special guests to attend and give a lecture, which was usually followed by a lunch.
Nearly 90 of the ladies recently attended a splendid lunch and tour of Buckfast Abbey organised by W Bro Chris Oliver and his wife Jane and was fully funded by the Devonshire Freemasons.
This get together was originally planned to take place more than two years ago, but had to be cancelled due to the pandemic and it was a delight to see so many finding the confidence to come out and gather in groups, laughing, smiling and talking non stop.
The regional groups are based in Exeter and Topsham, Teign Valley, Torbay, East Devon, St Aubyn (Plymouth) and Plym Valley and Barnstaple.
Addressing the Ladies at lunch Freemasons Leader, Ian Kingsbury, was in good form. He said: “Ladies, you bring a ray of sunshine into Buckfast Abbey and we are delighted that we can be here with you to enjoy these wonderful surroundings.
“We want you to feedback any problems you may have or help you may need, we CAN help. Especially after two years of Covid, today is a very special day.”
Marion Johnson, Chairman of the Teign Valley Group (and also a Lady Freemason) commented: “It’s good to be reassured that the support of the men Freemasons is there.
“Many of our group don’t have modern communications, so it’s lots of phone calls to check on the ladies.
Thank you and the Brethren of Devonshire for organising such a wonderful day and superb lunch.”
After lunch four tours had been arranged, two looking at different aspects of the Abbey and two around the gardens, then the rain that arrived just when we were finishing lunch made Abbey tours more attractive than Garden ones, and everyone enjoyed the company and knowledge of Abbey Guides Chay Hall and Anthony Luscome.
It’s hard to believe that it was built by just six monks in 30 years.
Many thanks go to the Abbey for hosting us.
Alec Collyer MBE
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