The event booked a year before was to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee.
Her Majesty the Queen had passed away three days before the dinner, and it was touch and go whether the event was going ahead, but the trustees of the Royal Yacht gave a special dispensation for the dinner to proceed.
A twenty strong group of Freemasons, partners, and guests from White Ensign Lodge led by our Worshipful Master, W.Bro.WO1 Glyn Cardy visited Edinburgh on the weekend of 9/10/11th September 2022 for an exclusive dinner on Saturday 10th September in the State Dining Room on board the Royal Yacht Britannia which is moored in Leith Harbour.
They were joined by further groups of freemasons partners and guests from three other lodges, all of which have special associations with White Ensign Lodge. They are Saint Patricks Lodge No.295 IC Founders of Athol Lodge No.74, Knights of Malta Lodge No.50 from Hinckley in Leicestershire, and Athol Lodge No. 74 from Warwickshire.
The guests received a ‘Red Carpet’ welcome, and a Piper was on hand to welcome us. All guests received individual invitations from the Royal Yacht, and an individual brochure detailing the menu, the evening programme, toast list, the connections between the four lodges, together with the history of each lodge.
In total fifty-one freemasons from 30 lodges were represented from all across the United Kingdom, Holland and Australia and W.Bro. Gordon Hewitt, a Reserve Squadron Member from General John J Pershing Lodge in Maastricht, flew in to join us with his wife Debbie. Following canapes and champagne, the group were given and exclusive tour of the yacht and then entered the State Dining Room for dinner.
Twelve tables in the State Dining Room were adorned with flowers and candelabras and the ninety guests enjoyed a five-course dinner prepared in the kitchens of the Royal Yacht. Whilst it was tinged with great sadness with the passing of Her Majesty the Queen the Chaplain asked for a two-minute silence before the dinner began and gave a touching eulogy to Her Majesty. The speeches were kept to a minimum on the night and our own W.Bro. Anthony Wright delivered a superb ‘Toast to the Ladies’ which was received with rapturous applause.
The dinner ended at 12 midnight and all ninety guests bid farewell to the Royal Yacht Britannia after a truly wonderful evening.