It was a “Hard Days Night” but it all “Came Together” to “Help” raise funds for the 2025 Festival. 

Picture of Richard Dixy, a visiting volunteer standing next to the MCF banner

"I'm Happy Just to Dance with You"

We were all on "Magical Mystery Tour"

Not a "Ticket to Ride" but a "Ticket to Win!

“Back in the Macure Hotel”

 “All Together Now”, summed up the evening of the 15th June 2024, at the Macure Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone. 
With  a packed foyer, ready to enter the Festival Banquet, the atmosphere was “Flying”.  With the Provincial Stewards of 2023, “Here There and Everywhere”, (alright, I will now stop with the song titles, it was a “Hard Night”!) the guests waited in anticipation for the arrival of our Provincial Grand Master, Neil Hamilton Johnstone and his wife Margaret. 

The wait was over, and led by WBro Paul Routley, Chair of the 2023 Board of Provincial Grand Stewards, the Provincial Grand Master Neil Hamilton Johnstone and is wife Margaret entered the Banquet Room.


WBro Paul Routley, Chair of the 2023 Board of Provincial Grand Stewards.
The PGM Neil Hamilton Johnstone and his wife Margaret enter the Banquet Room

It has been some time since we were here in Maidstone, the room looked fantastic, and the stage was set for the evenings entertainment, more about that later. 
Our guest compare Lewis Fuller of “Britain’s Got Talent” Fame, gave the opening Grace and we all sat to enjoy the festival banquet. 

Lewis Fuller Compare
Seated for the festive banquet

The Toasts

Dinner having been severed it was to the toasts for the evening, first, Closing Grace.
Then over to the Provincial Grand Master, Neil Hamilton Johnstone to deliver the toast to The Grand Master, The Duke of Kent,

Then, the mike was passed to Paul Crocket Head of Fundraising for the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
He gave an inspiring speech and one that held the attention of everyone in attendance, one comment that really shock us all, was the stat, “Since the formation of the MCF in 2016, an average of £50,000 has been donated every single day” This really blew our minds, and had my guests talking. An unbelievable amount of money, that comes from events like this, and our lodges and chapters. 

The Provincial Grand Master, Neil Hamilton Johnstone.
Paul Crocket Head of Fundraising for the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

The Entertainment!

During the meal, our host Lewis Fuller gave us an assortment of songs and then entertained us with some “magic”.

Time to choose wisely, “Pick a number from 1 – 5” was the question, “Number 3 came the call, wow you have won, what the lady couldn’t see was what was written on the back of the other cards, “I will leave it to your imagination.

Then it was the choice of a gentleman, “Do you want Mine, Yours or Mystery?” and so, “Yours” was chosen and £5 the winnings, if you had picked mine, oh £500, if you had picked the mystery, £5000. Great fun.

WBro Kevin Stones receives his prize from Vicki

The Counferfeit Beatles

The main entertainment for the evening, was a band called the “Counterfeit Beatles”, and what a band!

Giving us two sets of songs, a wardrobe change and lots of famous hits,  All You Need is Love, Hey Jude, Let it Be, and many more…


“That’ll Be The Day!”

So, with our Beatles taking a break, it was time for the Grand Draw, a chance to win, 7 night P & O cruise to the Norwegian Fjords.

Drum Roll…… The winner was…..Mae Bonner.   Well done and enjoy the cruise. 

Mae Bonner, with the joy and excitement of winning written all over her face, our worthy winner joined the Provincial Grand Master and his Wife Margaret to collect her top prize.

WBro Mark Bassant receiving the Grand Draw Prize from Margaret Johnstone and the the PGM, Neil Johnstone

The other prices included the following and here are the worthy winners. 

“2 tickets to see Madness”

kindly donated by WBro Kevin Stones. Won by WBro Trevor Mulqueen

2 tickets to see Madness

“Three Night Stay”

A Three night stay at Norfield Burghmont Farm, won by Guy Hutchinson

Mrs Kay Bearman wins a Taittinger Champagne branded flute gift set. Presented by WBro Peter Le Page

Other Winners

Friends, Ladies, Gentlemen and Brethren, fully fed, entertained and worn out from the successful evening, started leaving for home, with smiles on their faces, goodbyes said, another successful Ball hosted by the Provincial Stewards was over.

As it stands, the evening has so far raised over £18,000

The Provincial Grand Master, the President of the Board of Stewards, 2023, and everyone involved in making this such a great evening, thank you all for attending, supporting and contributing to the evening.

See you in 2025!

Article and photos by WBro Paul Gear ProvGCO

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