Finally we are in Festival! The launch was a spectacular event attended by an amazing 677 Brethren, partners, family and distinguished guests. A number which vastly exceeded all expectations envisaged when we set out to plan the event, which must only go to show that the grounds for a successful Festival have been firmly laid !
Held at the iconic Chateau Impney in Droitwich on Saturday 21st January 2017 , the event was preceded in the afternoon by the Worcestershire Installed Masters Lodge, during which the ladies and other guests were entertained by the magician John Milner.
The wine then began to flow at the drinks reception
which marked the formal start of the launch at 5.30pm.
Never to miss an opportunity for fundraising, the stall to obtain the newly designed Provincial tie and Festival jewel was constantly kept busy!
Of course, the day started a lot earlier for the events team and Chateau Staff – expertly led and guided by our 2022 Events Coordinator Iain Sharratt, who, after months of planning finally ensured the smooth running of the day.
Guided around the several buildings utilised in the Chateau by a plethora of Festival stewards, under the direction of Paul Webber, guests were led to their seats to commence the evening of dinner and entertainment.
Acting as Master of Ceremonies, Pete Broughton announced the entrance of our Provincial Grand Master RWBro. Robert Vaughan, accompanied by the President of the MCF, Richard Hone and the Assistant Grand Master RWBro. Sir David Wootton, at 7pm precisely.
Following the excellent meal, we moved into the formal part of the evening after an introduction by our PGM, followed by speeches from the MCF President Richard Hone, MCF Chief Executive Officer David Innes, and MCF Chief Operating Officer Les Hutchinson, who all gave further enlightening explanations and introduced several videos about the work of the MCF.
With great expectation, the PGM then took centre stage to thank the numerous people involved in the launch and announced, with a fanfare, the Festival target of £2,022,000. He then nervously opened the envelope containing the starting figure and to great delight and surprise announced, accompanied by fireworks and confetti cannons, the whopping sum of £321,136.93
already pledged or donated to kick start the Festival. This amount had been kept secret from all, including the PGM and Festival Chairman Patrick Firminger who was “astounded and extremely delighted at the excellent flying start this gives to the Festival”, and confirmed this “bodes well for the future!”
Our main entertainment of the night was started off by the performer Jasmine Elcock
(one of the finalists in “Britain’s Got Talent”), who sang a medley of songs to the delights of the crowd – it was announced that that night was also her 15th Birthday, and therefore after tremendous applause an encore, and a presentation, a rendition of “Happy Birthday” was sung (not so expertly!) by the 677 participants.
During the night a raffle was run entertainingly by Richard Macey, and again to the delight of the crowd it was announced a total of £3,700 been had raised in support of the Festival.
The evening carried on into the small wee hours, dancing to the tremendous range of songs from the Jon Scott band.
A full gallery of the pictures and all the presentations will be available shortly on this website.