A call to arms had gone out from the Chairman of Blackpool Group of Lodges and Chapters Peter Bentham for helpers in organising the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and the Freemasons of the town had responded with enthusiasm and gusto. Pals together and determined to make a show to remember, over 60 brethren volunteered their services to act as stewards in ensuring a smooth and efficient running of the event. And that is exactly what they achieved.
Under the generalship of Arthur Coldicott, chief steward on the day, the brethren worked diligently to produce a memorable event. To the questions: Did the stewards work hard? Did the day run smoothly? Was the event a success? The answers to all are a resounding; ‘most definitely in every respect’.
Efforts however were not confined to the inner walls of the Winter Gardens. Plenty was happening at the Masonic Hall in Adelaide Street, just a stones-throw from the meeting hall. That an army marches on its stomach was very much in evidence by the steady flow of stewards and visitors in and out of the lounge bar and dining suite of Adelaide Street. Bacon, eggs, sausages, toast and marmalades, tea and coffee, (and a few stronger brews for the more hardy of our species), were much in demand during the morning of the day. More substantial and refined cuisine was been requested during lunchtime and into the evening. Parties who were unable or did not wish to attend the formal banqueting at the Hilton Hotel, elected to gorge themselves on the delicacies provided by Dahlia’s Kitchen, the caterer’s for the Masonic Hall.
President of the Masonic Club Management Committee Colin Goodwin, himself attending the Provincial Lodge meeting to receive a promotion to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, did not neglect his responsibilities to the club. Keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings at the Masonic Hall in the morning and observing the brisk business over the bar and in the dining quarters, he closed his day in warm satisfaction.
Tom Inman, Secretary of the Masonic Club, was very much to the forefront in supporting Mel, Sarah and Sally the dedicated and ever genial staff of the club, assiduously ensuring that all visitors were given a hearty welcome and hearty sustenance to match. There was no doubt that the day had been a success, both for Provincial Grand Lodge and the Masonic Hall at Blackpool.
Each involved in organising and running the day, whether at the Winter Gardens or at the Blackpool Masonic Club, could certainly proclaim Julius Caesar’s immortal phrase ‘Veni, vidi, vici’, (I came, I saw, I conquered). Blackpool’s Masons can rightfully feel proud of their contribution to the success of the day and as Group Chairman Peter Bentham concluded “It has been a great day for Blackpool Masonry”.