141st Anniversary Festival – Mark Benevolent Fund 10th and 11th July 2009

On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th July, 63 Brethren and their Ladies accompanied the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother James Bennett Truswell and his Wife, Lorna to the 141st Anniversary Festival of the Mark Benevolent Fund hosted the Province of Cumberland and Westmoreland at Carlisle.

600 attended the Friday evening festivities at the Shepherds Inn arranged in a typical Cumbrian evening with a menu comprising of;

  • Cumberland sausage salad with Cumberland sauce;
  • Tattie Pot (a concoction of meat and black pudding in thick gravy) served with pickled red cabbage, beetroot and roast potatoes;
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding;
  • Cheese Platter with crackers and Rum Butter;
  • Coffee.

Entertainment followed with audience participation to renditions of ‘John Peel,’ and ‘Beautiful Lakeland,’ then local Brethren recited some hilarious poems in the Cumbrian dialect.

On Saturday excursions were arranged to Hadrian’s Wall and a Lake cruise on Windermere which were enjoyed those who went.

Saturday evening was the Festival dinner when over 900 attended in a very, very large marquee in the grounds of the White Heather Hotel. A local brass band greeted our arrival, sadly a heavy downpour saw our departure.

The efforts of the Province of Cumberland and Westmoreland under the Chairmanship of their Provincial Grand Master RW. Brother W. Kenneth Wilson raised the grand sum of £803,733 of which our Province gave the largest Provincial donation of £26,759.

Photographs of the West Yorkshire attendees clearly demonstrate the happy occasion enjoyed all.

The 2010 Festival is to be hosted the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire on 16th and 17th July at Peterborough. Brethren expressing an interest to attend should contact the Provincial Grand Secretary.

Article written Keith Robinson