The Friends of the Hall (FROTH), which is part of the Ormskirk and Bootle Group and operates in the Bootle area, as a way to help bring the lodges, chapters and other Masonic Orders together. It aims to assist local Masons to enjoy each other’s company at social events and at the same time raisie funds to help projects to improve the facilities in Litherland Masonic Hall. It was with these very worthy aims in mind that they held their 11th annual ‘Race Night’ at the hall and as is traditional, it coincided with the Grand National meeting.
For the last couple of months, FROTH committee members and representatives had been raising money for the evening by handing out sponsorship forms and asking the diners at festive boards in the hall, to purchase an ‘imaginary’ horse and name it, for the races on the night. The horses were then drawn for entry into the various races, with six races being run in total on the evening.
The dining room was set up with a race track in the centre of the room, with the track being formed from a large piece of artificial grass on which a number of white lines had been painted. Homemade ‘hobby horses’ were used to represent the ‘nags’ and the jockeys were the volunteer race goers. Each race had six horses taking part and the progress of each horse was determined by a roll of the dice.
Before the first race, FROTH’s Vice Chairman Don Fraser welcomed everybody to the evening before handing over to the FROTH Chairman and group vice-chairman Graham Chambers who explained how the race night worked.
After everyone had placed their bets, Graham asked for six jockeys/volunteers for the race and once they were ready the first race of the night commenced. Graham rolled the dice for each horse and asked the jockeys to move forward the appropriate number of places when their number was rolled.
After the third race there was a short break, for an excellent large buffet, which was provided by the people attending, who had brought trays of food to be placed on the buffet table. Once the buffet had finished the final three races were held and after the sixth race a raffle was held which raised £114 for FROTH.
At the end of the evening, Graham gave thanks to everyone for supporting the ‘Race Night’ and for the help with the buffet, he also gave special thanks to Cath Traynor, Anne and Shelia Chambers for their hard work on the evening by taking the bets. Graham then announced that he will be stepping down as FROTH Chairman and that Mark Sands from Crosby Lodge No 3714 will be taking over from him. He concluded by thanking everyone for supporting FROTH over the years while he had been chairman, and also announced that the FROTH treasurer Alec MacDonald of Eureka Lodge No 3763 was stepping down from the role and will be replaced by Roger Holt from Crosby Lodge. Graham thanked Alec for the hard work he has given to FROTH over the years and for his work as the treasurer.
The night was another great success for FROTH with everyone enjoying themselves, with lots of humour amongst friends.