Roy Claridge is well-known in the Province – he was initiated into Chipping Barnet Lodge No 5599 in 1963 and was a Founder Member of the Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No 8984; having served as a Provincial Grand Steward in 1979. He celebrated 50 years in the Craft in 2013 and his 100th birthday in 2018.
Sadly, Roy fell over outside his house on Thursday, 7 May, while talking with a neighbour about the planned VE Day celebrations. He was rushed into Bedford Hospital, where he had an operation to repair the broken head of his femur. On Sunday, 17 May he came home able to walk with a frame. He did well for the first five days but then began suffering from loss of appetite and stomach pains. He was re-admitted into Bedford Hospital on 29 May; at which point he tested positive for Covid-19. He was stabilised but was still testing positive two weeks later.
However, we’re happy to say that, by 16 June, he had made sufficient progress (and tested negative for Covid-19!) to be allowed home – the day before his 102nd birthday!
He came home as a bed-bound patient, with the NHS providing a moving hospital bed and other kit. A care package was also put in place to assist, including physiotherapy three times a day. Roy is making good progress but four weeks in bed and the effects of Covid-19 have both taken their toll on his physical health. He is able to get out of bed and stand with aid of his carers and family but he needs to build his strength up to be able to use a walking frame.
Mentally, Roy is doing very well – he is remaining very positive (reciting the ritual to himself has helped he says!) and he has regained his appetite. As you can see from our picture, he is very much enjoying the birthday gifts he received from members of his Mother Lodge.
On behalf of all in the Province, we’d like to send a belated ‘happy 102nd birthday!’ to Roy and wish him a continuing speedy recovery!