Ken Smith will be recognised by many brethren and friends alike across the south Lancashire geographical area, which includes several Masonic groups of lodges and chapters.
Just over 100 Masons, wives and friends assembled as a tribute to Ken’s popularity and friendliness, which was matched only by the warmth of his welcome from a cold, rainy winter’s night. One might ask, ‘Why were so many people attending this function’? The truth was to celebrate with Ken, his 90th birthday.
The party was held at the Warrington Masonic Hall and the event was very well planned with Ken’s guidance, by Beryl Goddard and Tegwen Drinkwater. Ken, assisted by Beryl and Tegwen welcomed everyone and offered them a glass of bubbly on reception. Ken said ‘It’s just like one big happy family’.
Eric Delamere, director of ceremonies called everyone to their seats. Ken offered an official warm welcome saying he hoped an enjoyable and happy evening would follow. He continued by saying he considered himself to be very fortunate to have so many friends and to still be here and fit enough to be able to celebrate his 90th birthday. He again thanked everyone for attending and for their good wishes. George Range, acting chaplain delivered grace.
A very tasty and enjoyable meal followed which consisted of haddock and spring onion fishcake with lightly dressed leaves and homemade Tartare sauce, Gressingham duck breast with plum sauce, gratin dauphinoise potatoes, vegetable bundles and glazed mixed fruit tart with pouring cream which was followed by tea or coffee. Red or white table wines accompanied the meal, which was truly a feast for all! George returned thanks.
Following the meal Ken presented flowers to Beryl and Tegwen in thanks for their help and support in organising the party. Ken also thanked everyone who had assisted, the band, the hall staff, Dwayne the chef, Joanne and the waiting-on staff and the bar staff.
Eric then handed over control of the evening to ‘Sight n Sound’, a trio who Ken had used on numerous social events over quite a few years and he greeted them as friends.
Dancing continued until the small hours and into Ken’s actual birthdate, at which point the birthday cake was cut and distributed, again with a glass of bubbly.
At the close of the evening Ken thanked everyone for just being there and joining in on his most enjoyable party. At this point Ken was becoming a little emotional, particularly after three verses of ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’, as he had spent the evening dancing with most, if not all the ladies present.
I think he was the last man standing!
Story and pictures by John Starkey.