Party in the Park 2017

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Once again the Party in the Park, held this year on the 15th July 2017, proved to be a great success. This would not have been possible without the kind permission of Kevin and Diana Bampton, who again allowed the use of their garden at Luddesdown to hold this key annual event. Approximately 150 Mark Masons with their families and friends attended the event, which was thankfully blessed with a warm and dry day, albeit a little overcast.


The Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro Archibald Iain Torrance, opened the event by firstly thanking Diana and Kevin for the use of their garden and presented Diana with a bouquet of flowers and Kevin a bottle of single malt Whisky with thanks from the Province. He then thanked the organising committee for all of their hard work in bringing the Party in the Park to fruition. Before retiring from the stage, he thanked everyone for attending and asked them all to support the food and beverage and entertainment stalls, which were provided by lodges throughout the Province.

This prompted a flurry of activity, which not only saw all of the stalls well supported but also allowed time for people to mingle and chat together and provided time for friends to catch up. It also gave rise to a period of much debate and puzzling over answers to the several quizzes, which had been organised as a new aspect of the event. During this period Jake Jackson, who acted as MC for the day, was kept very busy by announcing winners of the whisky raffle and giving out general information as required.

The evenings musical extravaganza was opened at 18.00 when the Cymbolick Penalties took to the stage. As soon as their first set began it was clear that everyone was out to enjoy themselves and a real party atmosphere ensued. At the end of their opening set we were introduced to Hollie Harris, who gave us an hour of musical magic. We were treated to songs to suit every taste that not only got people up dancing but had everyone’s feet tapping to the music as well as lots of singing along. A marvellous set enjoyed by all. We were then introduced to Terry Harnet who continued to build on the party atmosphere giving us a set full of well-known songs beloved by all.

At 9pm, as the days light was fading fast, the Provincial Grand Master took to the stage to announce the winners of the quizzes and the lucky brochure number and present the lucky winners with their prizes. On completion of this joyous task he then introduced the Cymbolick Penalties back on stage for their final set of the evening, and what a set it was. We were treated to an amazing display of musical talent, not only as individual musicians but also as a tight cohesive band as well, which not surprisingly had almost everyone up dancing for the final hour. Sadly however, all good things, even after two encores, must come to an end.

The Provincial Grand Master took to the stage for the last time and thanked the Cymbolick Penalties for a truly amazing performance, which had been given for free, to which the audience replied with a thunderous round of applause. He then thanked the organising committee, Ian Gallehawk, Peter Hayler, Jake Jackson, Peter Martin, Brian and Toni Ward and Tony Waspe for all of their hard work in making the event a huge success and was absolutely delighted to announce that the event had raised £7,650 for the 2020 Festival in support of the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund. He then thanked everyone again for coming and supporting the event and wished them all a safe journey home and looked forward to seeing them again soon.

The organising committee would also like to thank all of the lodges, individuals and businesses who sponsored the event, all of whom were mentioned in the event brochure. In addition, they would also like to make a special mention of thanks to Nic Baker, who organised the stage which was erected by the Broadstairs Scaffolding Company free of charge, and to Baldwin Salter Plumbers of Dover, who sponsored the bar, and finally to The Cock Inn Pub, which allowed us the use of its car park for the event. Finally, a big thank you to all those unsung heroes, who helped us along the way to bring this event together and of course, to everyone, who attended, joined in and helped to make the event a tremendous success.


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