With a loud Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa came bounding down the stairs to declare the Christmas Bazaar open, to wide applause and thanks from the AFLHC Chairman Ted Melber. He couldn’t stay too long as he had to change and be on duty on the mulled wine stall – wafting a seasonal aroma around the lounge.
The event was well supported by the steadfast group of stallholders with a great range of gifts, games and seasonal products on sale. The Tuesday Shop Ladies had a cakes to candles and gifts stall, Alan Spearman and Libby offered their games, while Tony Parker’s impressive pens and gifts were on display. Bearwood Lodge’s tombola offered a variety of wines, spirits and chocolates, and the Treasure Hunt had adult and children’s prizes. The residents hosted their own stall with a multitude of gifts, Judith Collins had games galore with a prize every time card game, while Hennerton Lodge’s lucky dip made everyone a winner. Friendship and Care Lodge’s wine and water was again a great draw, and the hamper raffle was very popular as usual. In the restaurant weary shoppers could enjoy a hot drink and mince pie provided by the Masonic Widows, all while being royally entertained at the piano by our very own maestro John Clarke, as ever a delight to listen to.
Everyone was delighted that the RW Provincial Grand Master made time in his busy schedule to drop by, and the Grand Superintendent and his lady Pat made a special trip to be there.
A number of prize winners were present when the results of the various competitions were declared just before the Christmas Draw was made at 4 pm. One of the draw prizes was won by a resident, one by a Berkshire Lodge member, but the first prize of £500 was carried off by the Padworth Lodge No. 7505 – so thank you to them, and all the other Lodges and Brethren in the Province who bought tickets to the value of £2,500, only slightly behind last year’s figure of £2,600.
The total monies raised from the stalls was almost £1,450, again slightly down on last year’s £1,523. Despite an early calling notice to all Berkshire Freemasons to support our very own care home, the response was not as good as was hoped for, and hopefully those who didn’t make it will make amends by coming along to our Summer Fayre in June!
We look forward to seeing you all in June, and wish you all…A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!