The Master’s Summer Garden Party did not have an auspicious start. His practice run, attending a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace by invitation of Her Majesty the Queen had been cancelled due to the Covid19 pandemic, and Friday the 10th of October dawned as a cloudy, blustery day, with intermittent rain. Not quite the blazing sunshine of the previous days!
Undaunted, the Master pressed on, and his guests made their way from all parts of the country to The Old Monastery Gardens in Bishop’s Stortford, where they found a wonderful marquee (kindly sponsored by Status International (UK) Ltd.), to protect them from the inclement weather.
The German Oompah Strollers having sensibly taken residence in the band stand, provided sterling entertainment, and kept the spirits lifted.
The guests mingled and caught up with friends not seen in person for many months, with plenty to catch up on.
Then the rain abated, and the sun shone, the Master’s prayers had been answered.
At 1.30pm buffet Luncheon was served, with the Oompah Band providing continued entertainment, now in true strolling format.
After luncheon the Master thanked everyone for attending the event, and thanked Status International (UK) Ltd for sponsoring the marquee, with special thanks to Court Assistant Peter McVeigh, and Past Master Emeritus Patricia Brain for their very generous provision of prizes for the raffle.
Afternoon tea was served, and then the proceedings moved to the raffle draw, and auction. The raffle was drawn by the Senior Warden, Margaret Fitzsimons, with a total of eight prizes available to be won.
Clerk Emeritus Phillip Hyde then took centre stage to auction a pair of crystal burgundy decanters, plus a pair of crystal claret decanters donated by the Master; a magnum of champagne donated by Past Master Patricia Brain; and a square crystal cut decanter embossed with the coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers, and the initials of former Learned Clerk Derek Barrington Wheatley.
The Clerk Emeritus as ever took to his task with a will, and the guests responded in kind with energetic bidding on all the lots offered. The spirit decanter realised some equally spirited bidding, finally closing at a bid of £1500 from the Junior Warden Jamie Berry. The auction realised £2,125, and together with the money raised by the raffle, a total sum of £2,625 was raised for the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers Charity.
Carriages were at 5pm, and the guests took their leave following a wonderful afternoon, courtesy of The Master, the Reverend Peter Harris, to whom we all owe many thanks for his kind and generous hospitality, and his great guidance in steering the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers through two difficult years.