Nearly 60 members and guests assembled at Warrington Masonic Hall to celebrate St George’s Day. The banquet hall was suitably decorated with St George’s flags and buntings, the red and white colours were replicated onto the tables with red roses, candles, napkins and white table cloths.
Peter Whalley introduced himself as director of ceremonies for the evening and invited Warrington Group Chairman Chris Eyres to officially open the evening. Chris welcomed all the members and visitors present, especially the principal guests, the Mayor and Mayoress of Warrington, Councillor Ted Finnegan with his wife Mavis, and Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton with his wife Susan, saying that he hoped that everyone would have an enjoyable evening.
Peter’s first job was to organise a heads and tails bingo game, as the first fund raising item of the evening. This had everyone standing up and placing their hands on their heads or their tails, which provided some gentle exercise before the meal was served and improved everyone’s appetite. The prize for the bingo was a bouquet of flowers if won by a lady, or if won by a gentleman his winnings were a bouquet of flowers, so that he could present them to his lady. Rob Carr was the winner and he was pleased to present his lady, Samantha Baxter with the flowers.
Chris Hugo delivered grace and the meal was started, which consisted of asparagus soup, a three roast carvery, a white chocolate and raspberry panna cotta with fruit coulis, followed by tea or coffee. Chris Hugo returned thanks and Chris Eyres then proposed the loyal toast.
The second fund raising game was for players to bowl pound coins at a bell of whisky and the one nearest to the bell was the winner. Initials and table numbers were written on the coins before bowling. The winner was Andy Ferns and he was presented with the bell of whisky by Councillor Ted Finnegan.
During a short interval, Chris Eyres announced that the museum was open and anyone wishing to visit would be very welcome. Chris invited Councillor Ted Finnegan to the museum for a short visit. He was very impressed with the quality and standard of the exhibits on display and the professional way they were displayed.
Peter and Nicky Leather led the singing with; ‘There’ll always be an England’, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Rule Britannia’, this bought lots of nostalgia and patriotism to all present, which was demonstrated with much flag waving. After a short break that was just long enough for a bar visit, the raffle was drawn with many lucky winners collecting a prize.
Chris announced that the evening had generated a magnificent amount of £280, which would be increased by group funds to a total of £500 and would be presented to the Mayor for his charity. Councillor Ted Finnegan thanked Chris and all present saying he would put the donation to Warrington Disability Partnership and Combat Stress. He continued by saying that these were two very needy and worthwhile charities and thanked everyone on their behalf. He continued by thanking Chris for a most enjoyable evening.
The remainder of the evening was occupied by dancing to the ‘Sounds of Paul Hazelby’.
Andy Barton, group vice chairman (chairman designate), closed the evening by thanking everyone for their support for the evening and the organisers, caterers and entertainers for all their hard work. He concluded by wishing everyone a safe journey home.