Evenings with Neil Diamond to enjoy his fantastic music, well not exactly because this was Worshipful Brother John Whitworth at his best. W. Bro. John is well known throughout the Province for his Charitable Fund raising and one hundred and twelve Guests joined him at Pontefract Masonic Hall on two nights, Saturday, 27thst October and Saturday 3rd November.
These were in aid of the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023 which is now some three years into its journey. The proceeds will be donated to The Mark Benevolent Fund which is a registered Charity, No. 207610 and has disbursed many millions, not only to Individual Mark Master Masons, their relatives and dependents, but also major Grants to deserving Charities in the wider community. The current major project is a pledge of £3million to replace Ambulances and support vehicles for St John Ambulance.
The concerts were split into two halves with John performing for over two and a half hours, fantastic stamina for he is no spring chicken, and an excellent programme of Neil Diamond numbers but also some other classics. He had done some research and interspersed his performance with some interesting facts; apparently, ‘Crackling Rosie is not, as many including myself thought, a reference to a lady in Neil Diamond’s past life but the name of a bottle of wine. The superb number, ‘Beautiful Noise’ came about when he, and his family, were in a New York Hotel room as a Puerto Rican festival parade past which prompted his Daughter to comment, ‘what a beautiful noise’.
In the interval a very welcome Supper of Steak Pie, Mashed Potato and Mushy Peas was served which was delicious and a credit to John and his team at Pontefract Masonic Hall. The two nights yielded a combined sum of one thousand two hundred and seventy five pound which was presented to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Alan Oldfield on Saturday 3rd November. This swells the amount that John’s efforts have yielded for the Festival and the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust to twenty six thousand pounds, a phenomenal achievement. More impressive is the fact that over the thirty years he has been involved with Charity Fund raising the total is a tadge short of one hundred and forty seven thousand pounds, we are fortunate to have him in our ranks.
At the event on the 27th October, the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, James Steggles G.M.R.A.C. warmly thanked John for all he had done and looked forward to future concerts where we can continue to enjoy his talent. In that respect, he did trailer the Concerts he will deliver in 2019 under the banner, ‘Groups of the 60’s’ including a cameo of the Dave Clark Five and the hit, ‘Glad all over’, should be very good. They will be held again at Pontefract Masonic Hall on Saturdays, 30th March and 27th April, I will provide you with details and booking forms nearer the time but suggest you put a note in your diaries now.
Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.