Oh, what a night! Not late December back in’63, but late June in 2016.

The St John’s Lodge Ladies Evening was held at the Carlton Hotel, Torquay on Saturday the 25th June 2016. Hosted by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother John Thompson and his wife, Gayle.

After greeting everyone they took their places to tremendous applause so that the festivities of the evening could begin.

Once again, after many years, we were back in the Carlton Hotel. We all enjoyed a four course dinner which was served with professionalism by the hotel staff. Grateful thanks to Ben, the duty manager on the night. I didn’t make the evening easy for him, but he responded professionally with a smile on his face.

Following dinner Brother Peter Cresser proposed the important toast of the evening, that to the Ladies in his inimitable style. Mrs Gayle Thompson then took the microphone and gave a marvellous response, accompanied by her husband, John.

There were two raffles on the evening. A spirit raffle for a 1.5 litre bottle of Bells. Won by Worshipful Brother David Watson, who immediately opened it and poured everybody a dram. The Prize raffle raised an amazing £400. All monies from this raffle were donated to Gayle’s chosen charity – The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

After the formalities of the evening had ended the Band ‘Freeway’ was introduced and Gayle and John took to the floor to the song ‘My Girl’. Then everybody danced the night away to this fantastic local band. I do not think that I have seen so many people on the dance floor at any one time.

And finally the evening was about to come to an end much to the disappointment of the 102 Brethren and guests who had attended. I managed to prise another quarter of an hour from Ben, and ‘Freeway’ played the last song of the night.

A fantastic night was had by all. The busy world was shut out. We were all in a world of our own.

Thank you, Gayle and John. And thanks also to Malcolm and Jo Pruett, The Carlton Hotel and the superb band ‘Freeway’.



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