As the North Fylde Group’s season draws to a close, the last event in the calendar was promising to be a glittering affair and a chance for not only the group officers, but the brethren, companions and their partners to let their hair down and enjoy themselves.
As in the previous year the venue for the event was Blackpool’s famous Savoy Hotel. Prior to the main event, North Fylde Group Chairman John Cross and his wife Shelagh took time to greet the evening’s main guest, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Randerson and his wife Anne, together with the North Fylde’s WMs and Royal Arch first principals who were accompanied with their wives and partners at a reception.
Once all the guests were seated in the luxurious ballroom, Mike Brown, the group’s hard-working secretary asked the guests ‘to be upstanding’ to receive the group chairman John Cross and the principal guest David Randerson, their wives and other distinguished guests.
The guests were treated to a three-course meal of honeydew melon filled with Norwegian prawns, roast tenderloin of pork and taut au citron. While guests dined, they were entertained with the undoubted talents of Liz Hendry on a white baby grand piano in the background.
During the meal, the organising committee were hard at work distributing raffle tickets and at one point Mike Brown delivered a mysterious brown envelope with strict instructions ‘not to open it’ until the chairman John instructed them to do so.
Once the meal was complete, John Cross rose to his feet to propose the toast to the visitors. John started with thanks to the hotel and its staff for the service they had provided, He then moved on to thank the people behind the scenes, without whom such a wonderful evening would not have been possible, in the persons of Mike Brown, Jim Gregson, Mark Spragg, Jon Davies and their wives.
Anyone who knows John knows that he is a talented speaker who rarely works from a set script and one who does detailed research on his subject. The main subject of his speech for the evening was David Randerson.
John started his speech (or more aptly called a roast) with David’s birth in the county of Yorkshire in the town of Barnsley and his time at the grammar school which had many a famous person in its alumni.
John’s speech continued marking the entire notable dates in David’s life and in particular his distinguished Masonic career all the while interspersing it with humorous undercurrents. There came a point in the speech when John asked each table to open the envelope that had been given to them to reveal David’s willingness to go the extra mile to enjoy a themed night out finishing with: “And that is where I will leave the rest to your imagination.”
Once the speeches had been completed the guests had a chance to recharge their glasses while the room was reorganised and tables moved from the dance floor. On the guests return they were treated to a fabulous raffle and with the sounds of DJ Scotty. The participants danced the night away until it was time to call the carriages.