EComp Harvey and Beverley Basger – Hosts for the evening.

The Royal Arch Banquet, 2023

This year’s Royal Arch banquet took place on Saturday the 10th June 2023, it was extremely well attended with 124 ladies and companions present.

Since 1991 this has been an annual showpiece fixture in the Royal Arch calendar and was the inspiration of the late EComp Col. Arthur Axford, a Past Deputy Grand Superintendent of this Province.

In view of covid, followed by a brief sojourn to the Garden Court suite on the 5th floor of Manchester Hall, this was the first year back in the Goulburn Suite since 2019, considered to be the spiritual home of the Royal Arch Banquet.

As is customary, the evening commenced with a champagne and canapes reception in the Goulburn Lodge room with the guests taking their places in the Goulburn Dining Suite for the banquet, shortly after 7pm.

Guests enjoying the pre-dinner reception

The dining suite was full to capacity and once the guests had taken their respective places, EComp Harvey Basger, Deputy Grand Superintendent, welcomed all present with particular reference made to the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and his wife Fiona, the guests of honour for the evening. The Deputy pointed out that, most if not all present, had supported the Royal Arch Banquet over very many years and he expressed the hope that everyone would enjoy the evening.

MEGS Robert, and Mrs Fiona Frankl

The Deputy Grand Superintendent then provided a detailed explanation of the wines which would be served throughout the evening and as is customary, were also available to purchase. The Royal Arch Banquet has always made generous contributions to both masonic and non-masonic charitable organisations over many years, which is due to the generosity of those who have attended and supported the event. With the Province currently being in Festival, the Deputy Grand Superintendent made a special appeal for the guests to exercise their generosity still further, with this in mind.

The Deputy then concluded by thanking Steven Boyle and Gerry Hodson, along with their wives, for all their tremendous efforts in making the arrangements and for organising another very successful Royal Arch Banquet.

Once grace had been given, by the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, those in attendance enjoyed the five-course banquet followed by coffee. During the dinner, there was the usual sale of raffle tickets, with many prizes on offer including the first prize of a £100 gift voucher for John Lewis, along with a good number of other prizes of champagne and bottles of spirits. The sale of the wines was also extremely successful and the organising committee wish to pass on their grateful thanks to all concerned for their continued generosity.

On their own behalf and on behalf of all present, the Deputy Grand Superintendent and the organising committee wish to place on record their grateful thanks to David Dunleavy and all the staff of Manchester Hall, for their professional, efficient and timely service.

The very enjoyable evening and another memorable Royal Arch Banquet concluded with carriages at 22:15. We look forward to continuing the fine traditions of this stella event, with many more such banquets in the future.

Find more images from the banquet HERE