Home for the last 25 years for friends, business partners and members of Hornsey Lodge No 890, W Bro Paul Brown and W Bro Mike Bracken and their families has been the village of Tetbury in the Cotswolds.
In February of this year, Bros Paul and Mike formed a Wine Merchants when another local merchant went into liquidation - taking on board the staff along with their hotel, pub and restaurant key accounts. Tetbury Wines Ltd was then formed.
When the Covid-19 crisis hit the Brethren a few weeks later it caused significant disruption to their business as all their trade accounts shut down. At the same time as the lockdown was announced, they received a call from a customer, a local farm shop, who asked if they would support them in any way by delivering food supplies within the local area to those over 70 or who had underlying health issues and who had to self-isolate at home.
The two Brethren responded immediately by providing their delivery vans, and they and some additional volunteer drivers started delivering food throughout the week. Both did not realise at the time of starting how difficult things would become for our country and how many people in their community needed help.
The Brethren are now delivering to over 100 households in the local area and they report what a rewarding experience it is for everyone involved. Whilst at times somewhat exhausting, they do know where a decent bottle of wine is at the end of the day!
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 41 July 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 41.