The popular venue of the Great Hall at Gillingham Football Club’s Priestfield Stadium was again used to stage the Sportsmen’s Annual Dinner on 8th April. An eclectic mix of members across all disciplines, some accompanied by their ladies (get you home chauffeurs), were clearly bent on an enjoyable evening. The only physical activity in evidence was jockeying for drinks at the bar before the meal.
Stephen Salisbury, the Secretary of EKPSA, set the scene and introduced the Guest Speaker, Bob ‘The Cat’ Bevan OBE. The diners sat down to a four course dinner and hadn’t got far when Bob Bevan organised table captains to sell raffle tickets on each table. The meal concluded with the Loyal Toast and that to the Grand Master.
The Presentation of silverware won during 2015 was made to the Golf Section. They had a most rewarding year and made a complete sweep in the Inter Provincial matches over Sussex, Surrey and West Kent. Honours were even against the Metropolitan Grand Lodge allowing East Kent to retain the Russell Race Claret Jug. Douglas Lodge won the William Blay Trophy and Eddie Bennett of South Kent Lodge became East Kent Provincial Golf Champion by winning the Geoffrey Dearing Bowl. West Kent regained some pride by winning the South England Provinces Championship, relegating East Kent to runners up position.
Bob Bevan then entertained the diners with a mixture of anecdotes and humour. He was also made to work hard in running the auction of sporting memorabilia, further exercising his humour to extract good money for the lots.
The proceeds from the evening were to provide additional funds for the East Kent Masonic Fishing Charity (EKMFC) whose aim is to bring an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs. It was therefore with great pleasure that the Chairman of the Sports Association, Roger Odd, presented Peter Brooshooft, Chairman of the EKMFC, with a cheque for £2,000 which was gratefully received. In his response Peter Brooshooft gave a brief description of the work undertaken by the charity and assured all that the funds would be put to very good effect.
Reporter: Tony Elliott