The recently held annual Southport Group Dinner saw 92 brethren sit down to a feast of paté, roast beef and cheese and biscuits.
The group was honoured by the presence of Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning as the principal guest.
The evening commenced with a convivial and relaxed tea party, where the principal guest accompanied by the Acting Provincial Grand Wardens and the Provincial Grand Secretary, moved around the various brethren and companions assembled and spoke on a wide range of subjects and matters concerning Freemasonry in general and the Southport group in particular.
Thanks go to the chef Wayne Warhurst and his team for once again providing a superb meal and Julie McGee and her staff; not to mention the stewards of Perfect Ashlar Lodge who looked after the provision of liquid refreshment in their usual professional manner.
Chris Taylor had the honour of proposing the toast to Philip Gunning which he carried out in his usual inimitable and witty style. Chris went on to detail the life and wide ranging achievements of Philip to a captivated audience.
In response to the toast to his health, Philip mentioned the current Grand and Provincial Grand Lodge topics which the Provincial Grand Master wished to be widely circulated to the brethren and companions and at the same time congratulated the Southport group for their forward thinking and their immense contributions to charitable causes, both Masonic and non-Masonic.
At the conclusion of Colin Jenkins’ response to the toast to the Southport group, cheques in excess of £21,000 were donated to various Masonic and non-Masonic charities and Philip Gunning exclaimed what a magnificent amount had been donated. Particular mention was made of Alan Sainter who once again donated a fantastic amount of £10,000 from his efforts running the Southport Regalia Agency.
Additional donations were given by Chris Taylor presenting a cheque from Friends of Tithebarn for £1,300, John Fisher presenting a cheque for £50 on behalf of the Computer Society, Tom Bradfield Kay and Trevor Vearncombe presenting cheques totalling £2,200 on behalf of MAGIC, Maurice Evans, who is retiring after many years as group treasurer, presenting cheques totalling £3,860 on behalf of the Southport Group
Here ended a fun filled evening which epitomised Freemasonry. Brethren and companions came together to dine, relax, chat and of course, donate money to charity which they achieved with grandeur!
Well done to all who attended and donated cheques for charitable causes; next year they hope to beat the amount donated this year!
Story by Phil Stock, photos by Richard Alty.