It was 7pm on Saturday, 8th June 2024, and 106 ladies and Royal Arch Companions were invited to leave the champagne reception and take their places in the Goulburn Dining Suite at the Manchester Hall, for the commencement of the banquet. Since 1991 this has been an annual event to highlight the Royal Arch within the Province inspired by the late EComp Arthur Axford, PastDepGSupt.


Eleven round tables were set neatly ready for their guests as they assembled into their respective places. EComp Paul Bowen, Deputy Grand Superintendent, firstly welcomed everyone to the dinner, especially the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and his lady Fiona and expressed the hope that everyone would enjoy the evening.


He then continued by providing a detailed explanation of the wines which would be served during the evening with options for anyone who wished to purchase the wines at a competitive rate. He concluded by thanking  Steven Boyle and Gerry Hodson and Harvey Basger, along with their wives, for all their efforts in putting together such an event, especially the problem of choosing the wines which had been a particularly arduous task.


After Grace had been said, the formalities of the evening were over for the moment and dinner began. There was lively chatter amongst the tables with everyone enjoying each other’s company. Raffle tickets were also offered for purchase in the hope of winning the first prize of a £100 gift voucher from John Lewis, along with a number of other prizes available.


Following the toast to the King by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Robert Frankl and the drawing of the raffle by Fiona, the evening concluded at 10:15pm where everyone had enjoyed a memorable evening which also celebrated the close of the current masonic season, at least for some Companions.

View photos from the event HERE