The last meeting of Orion Lodge held on January 26th must have been one of the quickest in history! The reason for this... the festive board to follow being a full Burns supper!
The normal meeting was well attended by visitors and we managed to complete the business required with appropriate decorum, but in such a fast time. Even the Worshipful Master commented that he had more to say at this meeting than the Secretary, who normally has so much to report, had shortened all of his reports to be so concise that if you blinked, you missed them!
Following the harmonious meeting, all of the Brethren joined family members, and non-masonic guests for a well-deserved pre-dinner drink where the socialisation of the evening commenced.
The dedicated dining room at the Apollo Hotel had been set up with round tables instead of the normal head table and sprig and it looked magnificent in the candlelight. This is the first year that we have held the Burns Supper at the hotel, and the staff were curious and keen to observe the initial proceedings.
Our own Provincial Grand Chaplain W. Bro John Cowan, a true Scotsman if ever there was one delivered the Selkirk Grace with his usual aplomb. Following this, he escorted in the Haggis on his 'Fiddle' and then delivered a dramatic version of the Address to the Haggis, somewhat frightening the chef when the knife was held to his throat! The dinner was less formal than a usual meeting due to the non-masonic attendees, although the appropriate toasts were given.
The best two of these were that to 'The Lassies' by Bro. Ken Wilson who pointed out the reliance that we place on our ladies, and also some of the pitfalls!
The response was given by his Fiancé Ms. Edwina Grant, who more than rebuked Ken for his speech and levelled the playing field for the Ladies. I do wonder what the conversation was like in their car on the way home...
W.Bro. Roger Miles then demonstrated his vocal chords with a beautiful rendition of 'the Ladies Song' supported or ruined, depending on your viewpoint, by the rest of the male attendees. Bro Steve Shuck undertook the sale of Raffle tickets and also was an excellent MC for the draw. The prize table was groaning with a selection of prizes, mostly alcoholic or chocolaty in nature. This raised the magnificent sum of £296 which will go to one if the Provincial Grand Masters 'Famous Five' charities which is the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
This annual event is becoming more popular, and if we had more people attending this year, we would not have fitted into the dining room. Our thanks especially go to W. Bro Michael Belcher and his wife Carol for all of the hard work that they put in in organising the event.
Bro. Carl Symonds
To find out more about Orion Lodge please visit their website at http://www.orion-lodge-4993.masonic-lodge.org.uk/