On Saturday December 14th  we held our annual Christmas Dinner at the Masonic Hall which was somewhat noisier than usual!

We met up from 5:30pm onwards to enjoy a chat and a welcome drink with canapes. This was followed by the Christmas meal in which our Caterer and his staff had excelled themselves. There was pate on toast, followed by soup, then a magnificent Christmas buffet. Afterwards we had traditional Christmas pudding with custard, coffee and full-sized mince pies. It was all rounded off by a glass of port or Baileys. All this for only €22.50 represented excellent value.

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Festive Dining Room

Entertainment was provided by the "Grand Inspector's Christmas Band". This is a group of traditional musicians who play together informally in a weekly session at the Grand Inspector's house. This year they formed themselve temporarily into a Christmas band with a folky flavour.  In the 8-piece band were

  • Fllute
  • Guitars (3) 
  • Accordion
  • Fiddle
  • Harp
  • English concertina

Everybody else was supplied with percussion instruments (tambourines, maraccas, bells, triangles etc.) and song sheets. The Christmas carols and songs were sung with great enthusiasm, including the medieval Latin choruses which were picked up quickly. Everyone entered into the spirit of the occasion.

The programme consisted of:

  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Gaudete
  • In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Jingle Bells
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Silent Night
  • Parvelus Nobis Nascitur
  • While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night
  • The Wren Boys
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas (re-match)
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas

 The "Twelve Days of Christmas" is not just a song for Christmas. It is a highly competitive team sport! A fierce battle was fought between the two teams and the "odds", although outnumbered, finally triumphed over the "evens". Their victory was much assisted by the Partridge in the Pear Tree (Master of the Lodge of St John and St Paul) and the Three French Hens (Senior Warden of De Rohan Lodge and First Principal of the Chapter.) However special credit must be given to the "evens"' excellent Two Turtle Doves (appropriately, manned by a very special recently-married couple).

We all owe a special thanks to our wonderful social secretary Maggie Roberts (six geese a-laying) for organising the Christmas Dinner. A massive amount of work goes into running this kind of event: planning, advertising, invitations to widows, table plans, place names, table decorations, collecting and paying monies, raffle prizes, the raffle itself etc. etc. All this was done by Maggie, ably assisted by her husband Terry, the Secretary of the Masonic Hall Committee.

Seasons greetings to all!