Such was the success of the Ladies to Dine Karaoke Evening held in 2022 by the members of Harmonic Lodge No 216, that the social committee had no hesitation in organising a repeat. For many years, the last meeting has always been earmarked as an Olde English Night. However, the chance to have a fun night whilst at the same time raising funds for money vouchers to be given at Christmas to all the lodge widows was given the green light.
The karaoke evening has evolved into an open evening, where partners, family, and friends can meet all the members and show them that Freemasons can have fun as well as having serious objectives. As everybody enjoys a good singer and the opportunity to take part makes for an enjoyable experience, the Ladies to Dine Karaoke Evening was born.
Legendary director of ceremonies John Donnelly, is well known in the Gladstone Group for his fine voice, and has demonstrated his singing skills with many renditions of the ‘Master’s Song’ for those lucky enough to have attended an installation ceremony at Harmonic Lodge. John enjoys singing day and night, and as he has his own home karaoke system, this was pressed into good use being set up on stage in The Pearce Suite at the famous and refurbished Britannia Adelphi Hotel, the regular meeting place for Harmonic Lodge.
The evening commenced when all were welcomed by the master Roy Williams, who has only joined Harmonic Lodge a couple of years ago, when his mother lodge, Compass Lodge No 7052 relocated to Shrewsbury. Since joining, Roy is a valued member and an asset to the lodge. An engineer by profession, Roy works offshore in the North Sea, on a four week on, four weeks off rota. A keen motorcyclist, during his time ashore, he volunteers as a courier for the Blood Bikes. Roy prefers his own motorcycle but most of the time uses the Blood Bikes motorcycles and occasionally rides one of the bikes provided by The Province of West Lancashire which carries the square and compass insignia.
Roy, assisted by Gerry Carson, acting as senior warden, and Ron Davies, acting as junior Warden, opened the lodge in due form. It was a very brief meeting which only included confirmation of the minutes of the previous meeting and the risings. However, Roy announced that he was delighted to propose a joining member to be balloted at the next regular meeting. With another initiation of a candidate also in the pipeline, the future of the lodge looks to be in good shape.
Meanwhile whilst the business of the lodge was concluding, consecutively in the Pearce Suite, members of the lodge were acting as stewards and serving a glass or two of Prosecco to guests. The guests arriving for a pre-dinner drink, were shown to their respective tables which were slowly filling up, with partners, family and friends chatting and catching up with each other. The lodge business being duly completed and once the lodge was closed, Roy and his officers, joined their partners and guests in the Pearce Suite.
Director of ceremonies, John, called the ladies to dine evening to order and requested everybody to take their seats whilst Roy said grace. Starting with a musical theme, the first course was oasis soup, (you got a roll with it!), followed by a main course of roast breast of chicken with all the trimmings, and a dessert of generous portions of profiteroles, followed by coffee and mints. As with all Harmonic Lodge festive boards, who are well known for their fantastic hospitality, stewards were on hand to make sure that guests were always supplied with plentiful glasses of red or white wine.
During the meal, Roy and his wife Gill, took wine with members and guests. The various toasts delivered throughout the evening using the toast list as recommended by Provincial Grand Lodge for use when non-Masons are present. Following return of grace, again given by Roy, it was time for the main event.
The headline act of the evening, John Donnelly then took centre stage and sang a number of songs made famous by Dean Martin, Billy Fury and the king of rock and roll, Elvis. A short break for a game of stand-up bingo and a raffle then took place, which raised a magnificent amount of £200.
It was then time for the X Factor and the real fun commenced, John invited member’s and guests to try their hand at singing a song from the 1,000s of tracks available. Not to be daunted, and first up was Gladstone Group Vice Chairman Matt Casson, who gave an excellent rendition of ‘Gold’, the Spandau Ballet classic. Following which, the stage was never empty as one after another, pop classics, country songs and songs from stage musicals like Les Misérables and Rocky Horror Show resounded around the Pearce Suite. The stewards reporting that plentiful glasses of wine appeared to lubricate vocal chords, as well as generating many requests from guests and members to take their place on the big stage.
All too soon the night came to an end with the tyler, John Hibbert giving the last toast of the evening. The guests bade goodbye and vowed to return next year to once again enjoy the hospitality of Harmonic Lodge. There were no reports of a golden buzzer winner, but there’s always next year.