“The Croft Dinner” was instigated following a conversation between John Harvey, District Grand Master for Northumberland in the Royal and Select Masters, and James Peter Croft, who was at that time Provincial Grand Master for Durham in the Mark & Royal Ark Mariners, Intendent-General for Durham in the Red Cross of Constantine, and District Grand Prefect for Northumberland and Durham in the Allied Masonic Degrees. It was to provide a social event and celebration to mark the end of the Masonic year for the District Grand Officers in the A.M.D. and R.S.M.
Peter Croft was compared with the Pied Piper of Hamlin, in that he played the tune and the Brethren and Companions fell in behind him; without question a great leader of men and loved and respected by all who knew him.
It was arranged to be held at Tynemouth Golf Club on the second Friday in August 2012 with an attendance of 30. The occasion was enjoyed by all present and a bottle draw on the night raised £400 which was donated to a local Charity.
News of the successful evening soon reached all the rest of the membership of both Orders and requests for tickets were in great demand.
In recent times, following the death of Peter Croft, it was decided that as a mark of respect we all had for him, the Officers’ Dinner was changed to “The Croft Dinner” and has been very successful ever since. Local Charities such as RLNI Tynemouth, Whitley Bay Food Bank, Marie Curie etc. have received donations from the event.
This year’s event was held at Tynemouth Golf Club and attended by 69 members including the Grand Masters of both Orders; M.W.Bro. Thomas F. Jackson and M.Ill.Comp. Kessick J. Jones. Because of the intense heat, the jacket and tie dress code was relaxed to smart casual as the evening progressed.
The bottle draw on this occasion raised the sum of £2135 which was donated to the Tynemouth Golf Club Captains Charity (who thought he was there just as a guest). In his response he said that he was gobsmacked at the generosity of all present and the donation would help those in society who were less fortunate than ourselves.
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