Summer Latest

Saturday 6 July 2019 saw the celebration of the 151st Mark Benevolent Fund Festival hosted by the Province of Sussex. On Friday 5 July, 11 East Lancashire brethren and their wives took up residence in the Grand Hotel in Brighton (you may remember that this hotel was blown up when Mrs Thatcher was in residence). We were very quickly made welcome when the Province hosted a cocktail party that night which afforded the opportunity of meeting friends, old and new, from across the country.
Following the cocktail party, 14 brethren and wives partook of an excellent Chinese meal at a well-known local restaurant.
Saturday was spent at leisure in Brighton which allowed the ladies a little retail therapy time.
It was an eager party who descended on the Brighton Metropole Hotel on Saturday evening, for the main event. In all, there were some 840 attendees at the Festival and we all enjoyed a delightful four-course meal with the usual liquid refreshments.
The big moment arrived and RWBro. Ryan Williams, Grand Secretary, announced the result. Bearing in mind that Sussex has slightly fewer numbers than our own Province, we were amazed to see a total of £1,351,349 with each Mark Lodge in the Province being a Grand Patron Gold award holder. This meant that the Province is now a Grand Patron Gold Province and the Provincial Grand Master proudly wears the collaret denoting that achievement.
Next year’s Festival is hosted by the Province of Kent and is to be held in Maidstone. After that, it is our turn and all eyes will be upon the total which we raise. I have no doubt that every effort will be made over the next two years to raise a total worthy of our great Province and of which we can all be proud.
Enjoy the remainder of the Summer break.
My best wishes to you all.
John


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