The evening being a major event in the annual calendar of the lodge was held at the Warrington Masonic Hall and was very well supported by almost 100 members and guests. The WM of the Warrington Lodge of Concord No 1250 John McIntyre, on his own behalf and on behalf of the principal guest, his lady wife Patricia (Pat), welcomed everyone to the lodge’s ladies’ evening. He expressed their delight in being able to welcome so many members, friends and family to such a memorable occasion, wishing everyone an enjoyable evening. He continued by thanking everyone for their support throughout his year in office. The evening was well organised and the formal proceedings were under the control of Chris Todd, the director of ceremonies.
Grace was offered by the chaplain John Williams and was followed by a delicious five course banquet consisting of stuffed Portobello mushroom, seafood Vol-au-vent, herb crusted rack of lamb served with boulangerie potatoes, cauliflower au gratin and roasted root vegetables, lemon semi-freddo with fruits of the forest coulis and premier cheese board with biscuits and grapes. The food was accompanied by red and white wines and tea or coffee completed the banquet. Many complimentary remarks about the quality of food and the service of the hall’s staff were offered. John Williams returned thanks and John McIntyre proposed the loyal toast.
Derek Arstall proposed the toast to the ladies, commenting that he felt honoured to do so. He thanked all the ladies present for their help and support over the last 12 months. He continued by saying how much colour the ladies brought to our Masonic lives, instead of the black and white of our lodge meetings and added there were too many other complements to list.
Mrs Julie Chilton presented Pat with a gift from the brethren of the lodge, which she was delighted to receive as it was a matching bracelet and necklace. Pat thanked the members and said “The watch that I am wearing on this occasion is the one that you gave me in 1991 at our first ladies’ evening”. Gifts were then distributed to all the ladies present and in addition each lady received a long stem rose.
The ladies’ song was sung by Peter Whalley accompanied by Brian Wilson. Peter also distributed roses to various ladies whilst singing songs focusing on roses and Valentines, Valentine being Pat’s maiden name.
Pat responded to the toast on behalf of all the ladies. She made one comment which was that this was the second time she had delivered the response to the toast and the evening had brought back many happy memories. She thanked everyone for their attendance and for the help and assistance in the organisation, both before and during the evening. Pat particularly thanked Chris Todd director of ceremonies, John Williams chaplain and Derek Arstall for the toast to the ladies and the catering staff of the hall.
The formal part of the evening being over Chris then handed control over to the disco, ‘Groove noise’ and dancing continued until late. During the meal, guests had the opportunity to complete a record request sheet which proved very popular and resulted in a good number of dancers on the dance floor. The evening was brought to a close in a traditional manner by the singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. John thanked everyone for their attendance confirming that they had really enjoyed the evening and he hoped everyone had enjoyed it as much as they had.
The event was a very successful evening with good company and good food in a great atmosphere.
Article by John Starkey.