© Newtownards District No.4

District Master’s Christmas message

As we approach Christmas Day and the last few days of 2020, we look back on one of the strangest years in recent history.

Even as I made my pre-12th message it looked like we were making progress in the fight against Covid-19 as things opened up again; yet a few months later we find ourselves in lockdown again. But there is hope that we are winning the battle and with the approval of vaccines, we hope that things will get back to normal in the near future.

I again on behalf of the District extend our gratitude to all those key workers especially those in our NHS who have worked so hard over the last year of this pandemic.

While we have missed our usual meetings and parades, the charitable work and fraternity of the institution has shone through with substantial charitable donations earlier in the year and formation of support groups for brethren which has been a great help to many.

We are saddened at the loss of several members over the past year. It has been made even more difficult for their families due to the restrictions at this time. We would again extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those members.

We look forward to 2021 to celebrate the formation of Northern Ireland in 1921 and we hope that we will be able to celebrate it in the way that we desire, with a major parade planned for Belfast and a joint Twelfth celebration in Comber. I am encouraged that even in this strange time we have had new members joining and old members coming back, with several waiting to join once we are allowed to meet again. If you have ever thought of joining, we would be happy to talk to you and point you to a suitable lodge. You may not be able to wear the sash your father wore but perhaps your son will be able to wear the sash that you wore in the future.

As we approach a Christmas like no other, we remember the words of Luke Ch2 v 11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.”

Christmas may be different this year but the Christmas message remains the same. May I take this opportunity on behalf of the officers of No 4 District to wish all our brethren, sisters and friends a merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year. Stay safe and God bless.

W.Bro Mark McDonald
District Master