Friday evening of the 11th November saw 90 Companions and Brethren along with their partners, assemble at the Adelaide Suite at Accrington Masonic Hall for the annual Royal Arch Dinner which this year was a complete sell out, and hosted by the newly constituted Verity Chapter of Installed 1st Principals No 3949. The event was compered by EComp Anthony Kenny, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. His first pleasant duty was to welcome the Third Provincial Grand Principal EComp the Rev David Halford, PGStB and EComp Paul Aspinall, PGStB the Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals and their ladies who were all welcomed with rapturous applause.
EComp Kenny then opened the proceedings by bringing the attendees to order whilst Bro David Peacock, of Bank Terrace with King Oswald Lodge No 462, along with fellow members of the local British Legion, performed a short but very dignified last post ceremony followed by two minutes silence in respect of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of our country. ‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them’.
All enjoyed a wonderful four course meal, which was both well cooked and expertly served, after which EComp Aspinall proposed the only toast of the evening, the Loyal Toast. Following the toast he said a few words of welcome and thanks which were very well received. Before the entertainment, EComp the Rev Halford was asked to say a few words. He expressed his gratitude for the welcome he had received and went on to speak of his delight at filling his new position as Third Provincial Grand Principal, explaining that whilst he is a fully Ordained Priest, he was actually a school master (Ret.) which gave him the opportunity to amuse everyone with a few stories from his days as a school teacher.
The evenings entertainment was provided by vocalist Andy Tierny who sang a wide range of songs in his first set, after which the raffle was drawn. The total raised on the evening was an amazing £764 which will be donated to the ELMC.
Andy Tierny brought the evening to a rip roaring close with his second session of the evening which had many shaking their stuff on the dance floor to his disco set.
All left agreeing that this was an excellent evening in all respects. However, a personal observation from the author was the wonderful sight of EComp Brian Carter and EComp Alan Johnson singing and dancing to Paul Simon’s song … ‘Call me Al’ a sight not to be forgotten … and captured on camera.