Once a year the lodge holds what they usually refer to as a ‘Ladies to Dine’ evening. However, this year was something very different, over 75 members, ladies and their guests were not only treated to a tasty menu, but also a display of sheer delight and elegance.
The lodge held its normal meeting with a short agenda and then the brethren joined their guests and friends.
Paul Rigby (acting chaplain) said grace and the meal served by the hall staff, consisted of chicken and ham vol-au-vents, seafood crepes, medallions of beef in a red wine sauce, panettone tiramisu, finishing with a premier cheese board, accompanied with some superb red and white wines. Paul returned thanks and the visual feast began!
A colourful and exquisite ballroom dancing demonstration by one of the UK’s leading professional ballroom dancing couples then took place. Christopher Millward and Victoria Bennett, who had recently turned professional, attended their first World Professional Ballroom Championships at Blackpool in November 2016 and finished with an overall placing of 26th in the world out of an entry list of over 300 entrants.
Quick step, Viennese waltz, foxtrot, tango and modern waltz dances were elegantly demonstrated as they moved around the dance floor with grace and panache. It truly was a colourful and elegant demonstration. When the couple had finished their final routine they were greeted to a standing ovation. Christopher and Victoria have danced in many competitions in many countries including Poland, China, Russia and throughout the Caribbean.
The proceeds from the evening raised over £576 for St Rocco’s Hospice, which is the couple’s nominated charity and they have raised over £40,000 to date.
General comments were: fantastic, brought back lots of memories when we tried to take up dance classes in our 20s, where does Victoria go for her beautiful dresses? The dresses must cost a fortune. They look so elegant. It was a wonderful spectacle with intricate footwork.
Finally, with the evening coming to a close, James Carrington WM presented a bouquet of flowers to Victoria and a bottle of champagne to Christopher expressing his thanks to them for the fantastic display. He concluded by thanking everyone for their support and wished them a safe journey home.
Article and photographs by John Starkey.