A superb evening!

Saint Valentine was the theme for the Warrington Group Ball which was very well supported with over 70 members accompanied by their ladies and other guests attending the evening.

The evening was opened by Andrew (Andy) Barton, Warrington Group Chairman, who on behalf of himself, his wife Kath, his colleague group executives, Chris and Hannah Gleave, John and Pat McIntyre, welcomed all to the evening and thanked everyone for their support, stating it was very pleasing to see the hall so full and the ladies looking as beautiful as ever! He extended a special welcome to our Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Kevin Poynton and his lovely lady, Sue. He also welcomed members from neighbouring groups and thanked them for their attendance and their continued support.

Left: Pictured from left to right, are: Kath and Andy Barton, Sue and Kevin Poynton taking wine. Right: Pictured are: Rob and Caroline Crook (left) receiving a bouquet from Kath and Andy Barton.

Left: Pictured from left to right, are: Kath and Andy Barton, Sue and Kevin Poynton taking wine. Right: Pictured are: Rob and Caroline Crook (left) receiving a bouquet from Kath and Andy Barton.

Andy introduced Derek Bird as master of ceremonies and handed over the proceedings to him, and he immediately called upon the chaplain Malcolm Myers, to say grace.

The Masonic hall staff then served an excellent five course banquet, which consisted of cream of asparagus soup, seafood gratin, chicken paupiette with pork sage and onion stuffing, wrapped in smoked bacon with chef’s potatoes and seasonal vegetables, apple and cinnamon crème brulee, followed by a premier selection of cheese and biscuits. Red and white wine complemented the meal, with tea or coffee to follow. A most enjoyable meal was reported by the diners! The chaplain then returned thanks and Andy proposed the Loyal Toast.

Steve singing to Kath Barton.

Steve singing to Kath Barton.

Andy continued by saying that an occasion like tonight doesn’t just happen by accident. Some people have been working hard for several weeks, planning, encouraging and cajoling, to make the night a success. He formally thanked Caroline and Rob Crook for all their hard work. He said: “They really have worked so hard to make sure that the evening would be a great success”. He continued, “Caroline, I would like to present this bouquet from Kath and myself as a small token of our thanks and appreciation”.

He thanked Derek Bird for the calm and authoritative way he had conducted the proceedings and his quiet words of reassurance.  He commented that he thought all would agree with him, that the catering and bar staff had excelled tonight. The service had been wonderful and the meal had been extremely enjoyable, so a very big thank you went to all the staff. He concluded by thanking everyone for their attendance and he hoped they would enjoy the rest of the evening.

A draw was made for one lady from each table to receive a special present of a beautiful orchid.

Derek introduced Steve, an entertainer and vocalist. Steve sang a couple of songs to give people the time to get their breath back, then dancing started. Sequence, old time, jive, ballroom and modern pop dances kept people on their feet until near midnight. Andy brought a most enjoyable evening to a close by thanking everybody for their support and wished all a safe journey home and he hoped to see them next year.

Article by John Starkey.

Ladies, guests and members enjoying the banquet.

Ladies, guests and members enjoying the banquet.