Over seventy gentlemen and Masons gathered in the Scarbrough Dining Room at our Hall for Victoria Lodge’s ‘Gentlemen to Dine Evening 2014. The evening started with an excellent meal of Thai Fishcakes followed by Braised Steak dinner and concluded with Fresh Fruit Salad. Guests were expecting the usual fun-filled evening of raucous singing followed by entertainment from a local comedian and indeed this is what they received – but with a couple of unexpected, moving and remarkable interludes.
The post–meal evening started with an inter–table ‘Battle of the Songs’, ably directed by W Bro Peter Wall, the main organiser of the evening. As before, each table was allocated two verses of a popular song ~ all delivered at full volume, whilst fending off friendly, but raucous, barracking from the rest of the ensemble.
Chief guest for the night, comedian Lenny Anderson, was invited to adjudicate ……. the losing table to suffer a ‘fine’ in the cause of charity. The losers were relieved of their £1 levy, whereupon all the other tables were customarily fined one pound as well for the usual mystery reasons!!
Following this Peter introduced Toni Wainwright of the ‘Liverpool Pals’ Memorial Fund, who proceeded to give a very moving and informative talk on the history of the ‘Liverpool Pals’ Battalions that fought so bravely in France during the First World War, with very little recognition, where complete communities and/or workforces were decimated by their losses. Their story has been illustrated on a permanent mural memorial that is to be erected in Lime Street Station for this year’s Centenary Memorial celebration. The talk was very well received and over £200 was raised in donations for this cause on the night. A very generous response.
But this was not the end of the night’s surprises! Peter then introduced Roy Weissensteiner, an antipodean singer, now residing in Liverpool, whi is a member of Liverpool University Lodge. Roy is a professional opera singer, who proceeded to astound the gathering with a magnificent rendition of several popular light-operatic numbers starting with ‘Bring Him Home’ from the ‘Les Miserables’, finishing with a stunning performance of ‘Nessum Dorma’, which received a standing ovation …. following a number of encores. It was a very hard act to follow but comedian, Lenny Anderson, soon had the audience crying with laughter.
A truly great and memorable night at which over £1 000 was raised for local charities and for the ‘Liverpool Pals’ Memorial. Well done Peter! An evening hard to beat but I’m sure he will already be cooking-up some new ideas for 2015.
P1: Brethren and guests enjoy the excellent meal.
P2: Comedian, Lenny Anderson and WBro Peter Wall trying their best to convince the audience that they can sing!
P3: Toni Wainwright gives a moving account of the story of Lord Derby and the Liverpool Pals.
P4: Roy Weissensteiner’s peerless performance.
P5: Lenny Anderson completes the evening entertainment in grand style.