The masters and First Principals’ Festival held in Southport was honoured by the Provincial Grand Master Mark Matthews and Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Umbers.
For the festival they had a full retinue with them, including Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Malcolm Bell, who is also an Assistant Provincial Grand Master designate. Both the Provincial Senior Grand Warden Christopher Taylor and Provincial Junior Grand Warden Sylvester During were present along with the Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor, and so there were ample dignitaries to go round.
Coffee and biscuits were laid on for all, though some preferred something stronger! Mark appeared to speak to everyone in the room before they retired for dinner, and there were nearly 100 present.
Everyone was seated in the dining room and they were treated to a three-course meal, including a very good homemade steak and ale pie.
The Southport Group Chairman Phil Stock took wine with Mark Matthews and then with all the other dignitaries, following which Mark took wine with the assembled masters and first principals. A toast to his good health was proposed to Mark Matthews and he duly responded, urging everyone to join chapter.
The health of the Southport Group was proposed by the Provincial Junior Grand Warden Sylvester During and the Southport Group Chairman Phil Stock replied, thanking all concerned with the event, not least the brethren who, as always, stewarded the evening. Charities received donations of over £10,000 which were received with thanks by the group chairman.