Permanently moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast is the most significant Second World War Royal Navy warship in existence; and one of only three bombardment vessels surviving from D-Day…most recently though it was the scene for the Essex Cornerstone Annual Members’ Dinner!
After we embarked the flagship, we were greeted by Club President Reiss Duthie who oversaw welcome drinks on behalf of the club in the ships prestigious Ward Room. This provided a great opportunity for members to mingle and catch up with new friends and old. With 2018 seeing 43 new members joining Essex Cornerstone, there were plenty of fresh faces for us to become better acquainted with.
We were encouraged to take an informal tour around the various decks of the ship, browsing everywhere from the inner workings of the engine room to the legendary guns which fired the very first shots on D-Day.
Once everyone was above board, dinner was served in the Ante Room of the Officers Mess which held our company in comfort at close quarters.
No Cornerstone dinner is complete without a small number of talented toasts and this year was no exception. Club Patron Paul Reeves DepPGM gave some rousing words about the intrinsic link between the future of Essex Masonry and members of the club.
Following a smooth introductory toast by The Club’s Founding President James Tyrrell, our current President Reiss Duthie gave an informative update on the Club’s progress and plans for 2019, together with a heartfelt thank you to Richard De La Plain who has retired from the committee having tirelessly served the Club as Deputy Chairman since its inception.
After seeing everyone was safely on an even keel home, those who still had their sea legs took a slightly different tack and navigated into the West End to enjoy the afterglow of this outstanding event.