Another Burns Night Success Story!
After being forced to cancel our normal Burns Weekend in 2021, and instead hold a virtual Burns Night, the regular customers were all itching to get back to the seaside for what has come to be a much anticipated and enjoyable 2 night function in Bournemouth. Friday night’s casual dinner got everyone in the mood for the Gala ‘Burns Night Supper’ on Saturday 15th January and no one was disappointed with this year’s offering. Under the Presidency of our Past PGM, R.W. Bro. David Ashbolt, after his welcoming comments, proceedings got off to their usual fine start. The PGM, R.W. Bro. Tom Quinn, gave his inimitable Address to the Haggis, which had been piped in by W. Bro. Paul Burgess of Mapesbury Lodge. After the sumptuous meal the assembled 190 brethren and their partners were delighted by the usual Toasts. First of all to the Immortal Memory of Roberts Burns – given in a learned and interesting style by W. Bro. Colin Woodcock (London District Grand Prefect for the Allied Masonic Degrees). Thereafter Bro. James Innes of Imperial Lodge (amongst others) toasted the Lassies in his own unique way and received a spirited response from Mrs Brid Hancock B.E.M., wife of V.W. Bro. Bob Hancock. No sooner had the applause died down for them, than we were entertained in their usual unique fashion by Tom and Eunice who, in accordance with established custom, pulled no punches by including a humorous mention in their songs of many of the senior people around the room, including the Pro and Deputy Grand Masters, David and Vanda, the two Vincents and a few others besides!
The event does have its serious side too as the raffle, with its several valuable prizes, raised in excess of £1,500 – the proceeds going to the MBF. The whole evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all present and of course benefitted from being under the jurisdiction, guidance and control of an excellent Toastmaster, our very own W. Bro. Wes Hollands, who like all others participating, gave their services freely and voluntarily.
Next year’s event is in the diary for 13th to 15th January. After the priority list is contacted, places are regrettably very limited due to the popularity of this social function, which has now been running in its current format for some 25 years. Successive Provincial Grand Masters remain highly appreciative of the support given by the regular attenders over the decades and our present PGM hopes that this will continue for many years still and perhaps even be extended, when availability permits, to others.