The Provincial Grand Officers Mess Celebrated its 20th Birthday in great style with a full house at the Honourable Artillery Company on 1st May.
The evening started with a Champagne and Canapes reception at 6pm which was a most enjoyable and informal occasion where the Ladies were welcomed and feted as our honoured Guests. Maj. Dennis Bradley commenced the introductions to the evening and to the entertainment which followed. We were very well supported by our Executive, RW Bro David Ashbolt and his lovely wife, Vanda, V W Bro Bill Divall and his good Lady, V W Bro Keith Florence and Maureen, V W Bro Jerry Gangadeen and his lovely lady and not forgetting W Bro Henry Hobson and Harriet and Vincent Driver and Emma We were also delighted to see V W Bro Eddie Goodwin, the Mess President, AGM V W Bro Raymond Smith and the Metropolitan GM RW Bro Russell Race.
At about 7.15pm we were treated to a display of how to open a bottle of Champagne – Don’t try this at home, Children!! – with a Sabre. Our PGM was the first to step up to the mark and managed to de-cork his bottle on just the second attempt. Not to be outdone, of course, the lovely Vanda had a go and with complete aplomb removed the cork from her bottle at the first attempt!! Shouts of Girl Power were heard for some minutes thereafter. Following on, Bill Divall, Henry Hobson, Keith Florence, Vincent Driver, Raymond Smith and Russell Race all achieved the requisite level of skill and were all saluted and presented with Certificates commemorating their admission into another order, they are now Chevaliers of the Confrerie du Sabre D’Or. Dash Sneaky, those French!
The culmination of the evening was a march past and beating the Retreat by the Band of the Honourable Artillery Company which was reviewed by our PGM, David and his Wife, Vanda. It was a most memorable and stirring occasion and we wish the Provincial Grand Officer Mess Executive, Eddie Goodwin, Dennis Bradley, Ron Venn, Tim MacAndrews, and everyone who assisted in making the evening possible, every success for the next 20 years!!