“Ardea Ladies Night Festival”

Ardea Lodge No 6717


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

Ladies Festival at Quex Park AMAZING

The MCF A Charity Driven by Passion

What a night!

On Saturday 10th June from 6pm, Ardea Lodge 6717 hosted their annual Ladies Festival at Quex Park in Birchington. It was a beautiful summer evening, despite the warm weather of 25˚ guests began to arrive looking extremely glamorous and the evening was already beginning to look a success. The event started off with photos being taken around the pagoda in the Manor House gardens where weddings take place, making a perfect backdrop for guest’s photographs.

picture of the function room all set out for the festival to begin
Matt and guests stand in front of the stunning pagoda, as did all the guests for formal photos.

Our D.C for the evening, Bro Geoff Cox, confirmed that everyone had arrived and asked us to take our seats. Kelly and I entered to an outstanding applause from our guests and family, and we took our positions by a beautiful fire hearth that thankfully was just on show for the evening and not lit. The prayer was recited by our Lodge Chaplain Bro Rob Jeffries before we were seated for our meal. The choice of menu was well received with our guests, please refer to our table brochure. Brochure link

The festivities were off, and we had plenty of fun when taking wine with all, particularly with my wife, as any man who wishes to survive the night and the forth coming days would.  As I looked around the room, I was so grateful that so many people supported us. Some, who could not make the evening, still donated a raffle or auction prize and again my sincere thanks to them for the kind generosity and unquestioning loyalty and support.

Guests enjoying themselves at the event.

The meal was exquisite and along with the sampling of wine (Well that’s my excuse) eased us ready for the speeches. The first speech was to the ladies by W.Bro John Harrington and in particular to his daughter Kelly (My Wife). For those of you that know John, you will understand that he keeps you with bated breath on the edge of your seat.  He tends to adlib his words which sometimes means that a joke or two may appear that was not rehearsed or, he goes off on a tangent.  Tonight, his speech was perfect which concluded with a rapturous applause as he presented Kelly with her gift as well as the other ladies with theirs. He then introduced Kelly for a response on behalf of the ladies.

Kelly engaged the room with her charming words and as you would expect, lifted the evening explaining why her chosen charity was the MCF (Masonic Charitable Foundation). An insight into what our charity did and those that had benefitted.  There were of course the occasional jokes relating to her husband (Me) jesting how I had originally said that joining masonry would only mean that I would only be out 7x times a year!  As any mason would know, this is not entirely how it works! Then it was my turn, a sip of my wine followed by a further sip and then I was introduced.

Following my speech, I became more relaxed, and the nerves passed.  I was overwhelmed with pride not only putting together this special evening, but to my family.  My two older boys who were sharing their first Masonic Ladies festival with us and my Mum, who had celebrated her 93rd birthday just four days before, who unquestionably has been my rock and biggest supporter throughout my life.  And of course my gracious and understanding wife who as many of you know is always by my side.

picture of Matt, Keely family and friends

With the pleasantries concluded, our D.C introduced our entertainment for the evening and Plastic Orange was greeted with an encouraging applause. (Picture below The great variety of music from our bands first set soon completed and our D.C for his final intervention ran the customary raffle that raised £870.00 and the Auction that raised just over £1,005.00 grateful thanks once more for the humbling gifts donated by all of our sponsors.

With the party flowing in full force and the dance floor becoming jam packed.  Our expectations had been reached and both Kelly and I sat back with relief as we finally realised that the evening had been a success. Once again, a special thank you to those that assisted in the evening (No names you know who you are) and to our guests and friends who made the evening one that we will never forget.

The final amount raised was £2,002.15 and will be presented to the MCF via our lodge 2025 Festival asap. 

Thank you everyone on behalf of Kelly and myself, Matt. 


Picture of the band at the function
Picture of attendees dancing to the music of Plastic Orange

A big thank you goes to Matt and Kelly Jury for the wonderful article and for the fantastic amount of money raised for the 2025 festival. 

To find out more about the festival and how the moeny is used, head over to our festival page here. 

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