Gala Dinner with Chesterfield
Last night we held our Gala Dinner at the Derbyshire Hotel, South Normanton in conjunction with Chesterfield Circle. A good number of Brothers and guests attended, including 3 widows from Mansfield (Jo Murphy, Theresa Lee and Rosemary Hale).
Brother President Peter Crowe, of Mansfield and Dukeries Circle, began the evening with his welcome speech. The meal was excellent and everyone seemed to have a really good time. Once the meal was over we moved on to the formal part of the evening, with Brother President John Harden, of Chesterfield Circle offering the toast to our guests.
Brother Grand President David Rowley responded on behalf of the guests and regaled us with tales of his first month or so in office. It has been a very busy period since he returned from the Malta Conference, with a visit to the various Circles in Scotland, a Group inauguration down in Province 18, attendance at Province 6 Council meeting and much more.
Despite his busy schedule, Brother David was genuinely pleased to be back among friends in his home Province and seemed relaxed and to be enjoying the experience as Grand President. At the end of his toast, Brother Peter Crowe then presented him with a bottle of Amarone wine (said to be the Patriarch of Valpollicella wines) and the Ladies of our top table guests each received a bouquet of flowers.
Brother Peter had two other extras up his sleeve. He reminded those present that we had spent quite a long time with Brother Harold Sharpe from Chesterfield when we were in Malta and invited Brother Harold to regale us with his story about being arrested on suspicion of bank robbery.
The final extra of the evening was a horse race – using pull-along horses as in the pictures below – between the Presidents of the two Circles, partly for fun (though there is always a strong element of competition and rivalry between the two Circles) and partly to advertise next Saturday’s Crazy Race Night at St Philip Neri School. The outcome was close, with Mansfield and Dukeries crossing the line only just ahead of Chesterfield!