On January 27th 2018 members of Kennet Lodge, their partner and guests descended on Sindlesham Masonic Centre near Reading for a Burns Night celebration.
Kennet Lodge usually has a Ladies Night in May, which is the "masonic" term for an annual gala dinner. And as there was no Christmas dinner at the end of 2017 the Worshipful Master of Kennet Lodge, W.Bro Rob Hawkins, decided to merge the two into a single Burns Night dinner, celebrated at the end of January.
A glass of Champagne was had as guests arrived at the reception - some arriving in traditional Scottish attire of kilts and sporrans. After being called to dinner approximately 100 attendees tucked into a four course meal.
Following starters, the second course was haggis; but before it was served it was piped in. The haggis was paraded around the room by the chef for everyone to see, culminating in front of the stage. There upon it was addressed by visiting W.Bro Dishington who very theatrically treated everyone to a dramatic (and word perfect) address by Robbie Burns, who was a fellow Freemason.
The haggis was served with a shot of Single Malt Scotch Whiskey - a very delightful way to keep warm on a January evening.
After dinner toasts and speeches were kept short, though thanks were given by the Worshipful Master, a toast to the ladies was given by W.Bro Barnes and Glennis (Rob's wife) responded.
During the course of the evening a raffle was held which included many fantastic prizes, which raised around £800 for the Royal British Legion Industries; a charity which helps ex-members of the forces who may have suffered either physical or mental injury re-adjust to civilian life.
The evening finished with plenty of dancing to The Echo, a band specialising in playing the Great British hits through the decades. Guests of all ages packed the dance floor and burnt off as least a few of the calories they'd eaten over the course of the evening.