Despite the rain outside, over 100 brethren, family and friends attended the annual Preston Masters’ quiz and giving event being held within the confines of Preston Masonic Hall. They were welcomed to the event by Malcolm Berry, the 2017 Preston Masters chairman, who thanked everyone for their support, wishing them well in the forthcoming quiz.
Arranged in 14 teams, the quiz was a close fought contest with the range of scores remaining very close throughout the evening.
The quiz was again set by quiz master Stuart Elliott who, assisted by his wife Val, acting as score keeper, kept the questions flowing at this popular event.
To start the ball rolling and keep minds working, there was the usual running challenge that, on this occasion, required teams to associate a collective name with the appropriate creature listed on a printed sheet that was distributed at the start of the evening. The most effective technique for identification appeared to be limited knowledge, intuition and pure guess work.
A break was called half way through the event to allow the brains to cool at which point light refreshments were served to restore depleted energy.
During the interval, the Preston Masters 2017 started their fund-raising year with a raffle that raised £310 and when added to other monies raised on the night produced a final total of £600, an excellent start to their year.
For the giving part of the evening Malcolm Berry, invited the previous year’s chairman, Paul Hardman, to make the evenings presentations on behalf of the 2016 Masters.
Paul announced there were three presentations to make. He then invited Luke Parkinson from Dealt a Hand to come forward to receive a donation of £300 in support of his group. The group has been formed to provide respite care for families located in and around the Preston area who have members who require special needs. Luke explained that they raise their funds mainly by way of sponsorship. He cited a recent sponsored walk from Preston to London that was completed in a total of four and a half days. Their next target is hoped to be a sponsored cycle ride to Paris.
For the next presentation, Sue Linaker came forward to accept a cheque for £300 on behalf of the North-West Blood Bikes organisation. The Blood Bikes team provide a free but professional voluntary out of hours’ service to local NHS hospitals by carrying urgent and emergency blood, platelets, laboratory samples, donor breast milk, patient notes, theatre equipment, in fact anything that can be carried by motorcycle, that is urgently required between hospitals. This service began in May 2012 and has undertaken over 21,000 successful call-outs
To complete the giving for the evening, Paul had the pleasure of presenting the Preston Masonic Hall chairman, Terry McGill, with a similar donation of £300 in support of the hall. In receiving the cheque, Terry thanked the Preston Masters for their generosity, saying the money would be put to good use in the hall for the benefit of all.
Following the interval, the final half of the quiz commenced in total silence and heads down with most teams secretly fancying their chances. However, after adding the results of the running challenge to the individual team totals, Stuart was surprised to have to announce that there was a tie for first place with three teams having identical points.
The teams representing the Preston Lodge of Concord, Jubilee Lodge and Halcyon Lodge were invited to replace their thinking caps for a three-question tie-breaker. Stuart, thinking: “I’ll sort this lot out,” turned to the nasty questions part of his repertoire. With a possible maximum team score of three the results of the tiebreaker where nil, nil and one. Stuart, with a satisfied smile on his face, had the pleasure of declaring Halcyon Lodge as the winners of the 2017 Masters quiz.
Malcolm invited the team to the front to congratulate and present them with the Masters’ Quiz cup and a box of chocolates to share.
It was another excellent evening at the Masonic hall that was enjoyed by all and marked the start of the 2017 Preston Masters’ fundraising activities.