Based on an original idea from Arthur Axford in 1991 when he was the DepGSupt, the Royal Arch Banquet was formed to promote the Royal Arch within the Province of East Lancashire and has continued in its original format ever since.

Each year it has been very successful and well supported. Despite the clash of dates with events being held to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, this year’s banquet was no exception with 120 Companions and partners attending yet another enjoyable dinner.

The evening started with a champagne reception in the John Rylands Rooftop Terrace which is on the 5th floor and offers some privileged views of Manchester. This gave the guests the opportunity to circulate and talk in a relaxed atmosphere. With patriotic balloons on each table and chocolates for all the ladies it set the scene for another splendid evening.

EComp Harvey Basger, DepGSupt, then gave an introductory speech along with a brief explanation of the two wines which would be served during the dinner, both being available to order as the evening progressed. A five course dinner then followed concluding with coffee and Petit Fours.
The ME Grand Superintendent, Robert Frankl, then proposed the toast to Her Gracious Majesty the Queen, which on this occasion, held a greater significance to the evening. He was then presented with a donation for £5000 towards the 2026 Festival from the charitable support given by previous guests of the banquet. After thanking the committee for their donation, he then congratulated both Beverley and Harvey Basger who would be celebrating their Golden wedding anniversary next weekend which was met with rapturous applause from all the guests.
The celebrations concluded with the DepGSupt thanking the banquet committee for all the effort and hard work they had contributed in making the occasion the success it was. Especially Steven Boyle on his achievements, as this was the first banquet where he had borne the brunt of the work in organising most of the evenin
Steven Boyle and his wife Tracey

He then paid tribute to David H Thompson, who was one of the three original Companions who started the banquet 31 years ago and is now retiring from the committee. He was presented with two Diamante crystal wine glasses in appreciation of his past services.

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