Mark Benevolent Fund
Registered Charity No. 207610
The Mark Province of Buckinghamshire hosted a highly successful and enjoyable Mark Benevolent Fund Festival weekend at the Double Tree Hotel at Milton Keynes on Friday 18th July and Saturday 19th July 2014.
The weekend began with an informal Pre-Festival Dinner Dance hosted by Rt W/Bro Peter Harborne and his wife Sally. A splendid three course meal was enjoyed by the 213 guests who attended, and music and dancing followed with a nine-piece Band, called ‘Down for the Count’ playing a wide range of popular music.
On the Saturday during the day, several Brethren travelled by coach to a choice of two popular venues - Waddesdon Manor, or Bletchley Park. The trips were thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended.
The Saturday evening event took the form of a formal Festival Banquet attended by senior members of Mark Grand Lodge, and Brethren from many Provinces throughout the UK. The attendees numbered 483, including the Pro-Grand Master MW/Bro Richard Wallis, the Deputy Grand Master RW/Bro Keith Emerson and Assistant Grand Master Ray Smith.
The evening commenced with a champagne drinks reception followed by a four course dinner - during which the Festival Result – the magnificent total of £456205.54 to be donated to the Mark Benevolent Fund was announced to loud and spontaneous applause.
This amount was raised from a number of sources, including generous donations from other Provinces, legacies, fund-raising events held throughout the Bucks Mark Province, and the Brethren of the Bucks Mark Province by way of standing orders and one-off donations.
146th Anniversary Festival
The Double Tree Hotel, Milton Keynes
Saturday, 19th July 2014
Many Brethren took the option of staying overnight in the hotel which forms part of the MK Dons Football Club, before departing the following day. The Festival was organised by a Committee under the Chairmanship of VW/Bro Jeff Green, Deputy Provincial Grand Master. The Committee Members were W/Bro’s David Tremaine - Deputy Chairman, Keith Bristow - Festival Secretary, Richard Skym - Treasurer, Nigel Dyke - Booking Secretary and Events Co-ordinator, and Patrick McGlone and Graham Dearing.The smooth running of the weekend was handled with great skill and professionalism by a strong team of volunteer Stewards, under the management of W/Bro Paul Waldron - Head Steward, and ably assisted by W/Bro Graham Dearing. Everyone who freely and generously gave their time and services to look after the needs of the guests, were a key part of the success Festival Weekend and richly deserve grateful recognition.The Hotel Staff and Management too, were magnificent in their attention to detail and co-operation, both during the weekend and throughout the long build-up to it.Many congratulatory letters, emails and comments have since been received by the Province applauding the magnificent sum raised towards the Mark Benevolent Fund, and of the undoubted organisational success of the weekend. Finally, the success is due in no small part to the wonderful generosity of the Members of the Province by way of their Standing Orders, Donations, and Fund Raising efforts.The next Mark Benevolent Fund Festival will be hosted by the Province of Worcester at the Chateau Impney Hotel and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 4th July 2015.