With the sap rising and it being springtime, Gillingham’s Peace & Unity Lodge No 4101 (P&U) decided to try something different. At the end of March, instead of their usual Ladies Festival, P&U held a family fancy dress night. The theme for the evening was based on the hit BBC TV comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo!
In addition to much fun and merriment the objective of the evening was to raise money for two very important charities: Teddies for Loving Care (East Kent) and the Multiple Sclerosis Society (Maidstone & District Branch). Several members of the lodge are closely involved with each of these charities.
Music for the evening was provided by the Province’s very own Cymbolick Penalties Band. In line with their usual remit for charitable events, the Cymbolicks provided their services free of charge.
In addition to colouring books and crayons being provided for the younger guests there were prizes throughout the evening. The main fancy dress parade prize was won by Durham Freemason Maurice Errington and his wife Kate. Maurice is the Master of Peace and Unity Lodge No 6312 in the Masonic Province of Durham. He and Kate had travelled from their home in Sunderland specially to support the evening.
A range of great raffles and fund raising initiatives took place throughout the evening resulting in over £1,000 being raised for the two charities. The total included a donation from P&U and some match funding from the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity (CEKFC).
Commenting on the evening P & U’s Master, Graham Mitchell, said: “I am delighted everyone enjoyed such a successful and fun evening and raised this magnificent amount of money for these two important charities. It was very much a team production and I would like to thank all those involved in organising, running and supporting the evening. The excellent costumes and fancy dress persona of those that dressed-up were unparalleled.” Graham added: “I must thank my friends, the Cymbolick Penalties, for their music which carried the evening along apace. Also the Trustees of the CEKFC for their generous match funding contribution. And last, but not least, Jason and Lisa Whiting our caterers at the Gillingham Masonic Centre who provided our sumptuous hot and cold buffet and judged the fancy dress competition. Here’s to the next one!”
Report by Graham Mitchell, photos by Colin Reece