It was a joy to see so many people turn out for the Almoners Lunch arranged by the Charity Committee. The day may have been chilly outside but inside there was a warm welcome, which more than made the trip worthwhile. The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master J. Trevor Bolton and President of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust was attending accompanied by his wife Pamela.
The dinner gong sounded, which signaled that people should take their places and enjoy the wonderful meal of a Chicken dinner followed by dessert. Very good indeed.
W.Bro. Alan Corbridge, an Elected Member of the Charity Committee, thanked everyone on behalf of the Charity Committee for attending the lunch. It fell to Alan, who is stepping down from the so-called magnificent seven next April, to express the gratitude of all the elected members. for a very successful Festival, the hard work, and the diligence of the Provincial and Lodge Almoners, the Charity Stewards, and many Brethren, had shown the resilience of the association through some difficult times. The chairman and the trustees of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust have worked hard in supporting the Brethren, their families, and dependents. He thanked the Provincial Grand Almoner W. Bro Paul Leach and his Deputy W. Bro John Gray, and their team of supporters for all their help and support. The care we provide comes through their commitment and the personal time that they allocate to help others who are in need.
W.Bro. Tony Hobson announced he too would be stepping down and that this was to be the final event that Alan and himself would be organizing. He introduced W. Bro. Steven Hides who would be taking over the role of organizing future events. Tony had been part of the magnificent seven for 9 years and the organizer of the Almoners lunches and trips for the past 15 years.
R.W.Bro. Trevor was pleased to see the numbers attending are increasing to those of previous lunches, which was good to see, and long may it continue. He went on to say that a total of 119 people were due to dine, due to unknown circumstance a group of people (a table) had not arrived.
He thanked W.Bro.Tony for his dedication and time over the last 15 years. He remembered the time he met Tony, who at the time had a red clipboard which reminded him of Eamonn Andrews. He also thanked W. Bro. Jim Reynolds who is also stepping down as Charity Secretary in a years’ time. In the meantime, he will be shadowing W. Bro Steven who will be taking over both roles of Charity Secretary and Organizer for the Charity. He was heartened to see a full table of Ladies of the Provincial support care team in attendance. He thanked them for their support and all the work they did for the Province. The gap between the Craft and the Mark is closing rapidly. It is working wonderfully, and we are working together to give help where it is needed. We are one of the best Provinces in giving. He thanked all those who work behind the scenes providing help to our members and would like to see the numbers attending getting back to pre-covid.
A wonderful time was had by all, we thank W. Bros. Tony and Jim for organising the lunches over the years and wish them both all the very best. The next Almoners lunch will take place in April 2024 at Ainley Top Huddersfield, and we hope to see you all again.
With thanks to
W. Bro John M Fitzpatrick