The 31st dinner and boxing evening organised by the Furness and South Lakeland Group emulated its predecessors in being a great success. The Cumbria Grand Hotel, Grange over Sands was again the setting for this annual event which is run under the auspices of Kendal Amateur Boxing Club. It was once again a sell-out with the patrons enjoying a four course meal before settling down to enjoy 13 bouts of boxing. The top table guests included the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and other distinguished brethren.
Boxing committee chairman Gary Rogerson commented: “We are very grateful for the support of Kendal Amateur Boxing Club for their assistance in arranging the bouts. I appreciate the hard work and commitment of the boxing committee members and the efforts of the raffle tickets sellers. The evening is the culmination of several months of hard work. It is all made worthwhile when you see a full house with the spectators enjoying a super evening whilst at the same time digging deep into their pockets to raise a tremendous amount for charity.”
The final sums still have to be done but it is anticipated that the total raised will be in excess of £5,000 to add to the £180,000 the event has raised over the years.
The boxing commenced with skill demonstration bouts before moving on to schoolboy and senior contests. There was plenty of fast and furious action to be witnessed from the ring-side as well as some good displays of pugilistic skills both in defence and attack. The final bout of the evening featured Joe Skyrme of Barrow A.B.C. up against Dean English from the Carlisle Villa A.B.C. It was a suitable finale as the two experienced boxers showed their skill and power in three explosive rounds of non-stop action. English got the nod from the judges as he landed the heavier blows but it could easily have gone the other way.
The hotel is taken over by those attending the boxing and with special rates on offer the accommodation was fully booked. Those stopping for the night were able to socialise well into the early hours and reflect on a great night’s entertainment. Breakfast was taken in the same dining room where dinner had been enjoyed with magnificent views over Morecambe Bay on offer.
The arrangements for the 2018 event are now in progress. Kendal A.B.C. chairman and head trainer Alan Willoughby is already planning for next year and is looking forward to a first for his club when, he hopes, 26 year old Seraya Ali will be the first woman to represent the club at the event.
The next job for the hard working committee is to arrange the presentation evening when the funds raised will be distributed to good causes. With a full report and photographs to follow in at least one local newspaper the Furness public will get to see that Freemasons can enjoy themselves whilst raising money for charity. That in itself is not a bad result.
Article written by Dave Sear.