Eric and Ernie’s double act

Provincial Grand Almoner, Ernie Greenhalgh visited Elm Bank Masonic Hall to give a presentation to the almoners of the Eccles and District group of lodges and chapters. Ernie was accompanied by Eric Hart MBE (Provincial Grand Almoner designate), Eccles pastoral care officer Colin Latimer, Eccles Group Chairman Dave Walmsley and Patrick Walsh, group secretary.

Ernie (left) and Eric talk team tactics.

Ernie (left) and Eric talk team tactics.

The presentation, ‘The Link in the Chain’, was attended by a number of almoners from the lodges and chapters from the Eccles Group who were treated to a very professional presentation delivered by Ernie that kept them intrigued with information about the new Care structure introduced in October 2015 which concentrated during the initial phase on the role of the administration team.

The first priority was to make sure that all clients were able to have an application completed, and presented to the charities for consideration in a timely manner.

The second phase is to link almoners and the pastoral care officers to make sure they meet the needs of the whole Masonic family, hence, ‘The Link in the Chain’.

Ernie showed a powerful video that demonstrated the impression that the care system can impact on family’s who are experiencing difficult times. On conclusion, Ernie thanked the almoners for the tremendous and valuable work that they do for their lodges and chapters, concluding that it is the most rewarding job in Freemasonry.

Left: Dave presents Ernie with traditional Eccles cakes. Right: Ernie in full flow.

Left: Dave presents Ernie with traditional Eccles cakes. Right: Ernie in full flow.

Ernie, who retires in May, then introduced his successor, Eric Hart, who addressed the almoners and expressed that he is looking forward to working with them in the future.

A question and answer session concluded the presentation and each attendee received an information pack that further explained the issues raised in the presentation.

At the conclusion of the meeting, group chairman Dave Walmsey thanked Ernie and Eric for a very informative session and presented them with the traditional Eccles cakes for their supper. Dave expressed his thanks to all those who had attended, praising the care team and almoners for the essential work they undertake in supporting fellow Masons and their dependants.

Article and photographs by Tom Fredrickson.

Pictured from left to right, are: Colin Latimer, Ernie Greenhalgh, Dave Walmsley, Eric Hart and Patrick Walsh.

Pictured from left to right, are: Colin Latimer, Ernie Greenhalgh, Dave Walmsley, Eric Hart and Patrick Walsh.