Each year the Woolton Group celebrates the achievements of its members by holding a dinner to celebrate with the recipients of first appointments or promotions within the Craft or Royal Arch.
This year the group was pleased that 12 Masons had been honoured by the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison for all the work they have been doing and will continue to do in the future for the group or their lodges or chapters.
The Woolton Group Chairman Andy Whittle received the prestigious grand rank in the Royal Arch of PGStdB and two other Masons had been promoted within Royal Arch; firstly, Les Cutting of Red Triangle Chapter No 3874 to PPrGSN and Walter O Balmer of Walton Chapter No 1086 to PPrPGSoj.
Within the Craft there was the following first appointment for David Scanlon of Olympic Lodge No 4461 to PPrAGSwdB and eight promotions; Fred Hulse of Olympic Lodge received the high promotion to PPrSGW, Andrew Mooney of Prince’s Park Lodge No 4769 was promoted to PPrGSwdB, David Boyes of Lodge of Tranquillity No 3877 promoted to PPrGSuptWks along with Stephen Lynch of Woolton Lodge of Unity No 1086, Stephen Joseph Riley of City Lodge No 2514 and William Carter of Derby Lodge Np 724 received the rank of PPrDGSuptWks, Peter Williams of Adeste Fidelis Lodge No 7425 was promoted to PPrSGD together with Michael Mansfield Corbett of Old Lerpoolian Lodge No 9270 receiving the same rank.
Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton, who has responsibilities for the Woolton Group, proposed the toast to the recipients in his usual jocular style whilst explaining to the dinners the different colours between Craft and Royal Arch, as wives and family had been invited to the celebration.
In his response to the toast to his health, Kevin thanked the organisers Ken Baxter, Fred Hulse and the chef and his staff for providing an excellent meal and everyone for attending.
Vic Albin then proposed the toast to the group saying that the year to date had been very enjoyable with lots of social occasions and more to come in the next year all of which would provide ample opportunity to raise money for charitable causes.
Andy Whittle responded to this toast saying that during the Tercentenary Black Tie dinner, the group had donated £7,500 and to date he was aware that the group, its lodges and chapters had raised £19,000 for the MCF 2021 Festival and the figure was rising. He thanked everyone for their donations saying it was a magnificent sum for a small group and as Vic had said, more activities were planned with a shared quiz/race night with the golf club in January; another Sunday lunch in April; a weekend away to Scotland in March and another Black Tie dinner in May; it was at this point that Andy’s mobile sounded much to the amusement of Kevin and the diners.
Ken Baxter proposed the toast to the ladies and as at all Masonic functions there was a raffle and on this occasion a Chorley raffle was held which raised £120. Within the Woolton Group there has been a tradition of the last raffle prize being bath salts and they seem to turn up in raffles time after time. Tonight was no exception.
Kevin Poynton assisted by calling out the numbers and eventually came to the last prize – the bath salts. There wasn’t a claimant until a quiet voice from the top table as Sue Poynton said: “Darling it’s your ticket.” Kevin had won. This was greeted with great hilarity from amongst the diners, a perfect end to a lovely occasion. Before the diners set off for home, Ann Baxter presented flowers to Sue Poynton and Amanda Whittle.
Article and photographs by Colin Roberts.