The annual Paviors’ Christmas dinner was organized by the Luncheon Club this year on Monday 14 December for the first time as a ‘virtual event’. Food and drink were provided in a Christmas hamper sent out in advance. Over 40 Paviors and their partners, suitably dressed in Christmas finery, joined together over the internet for an evening of carols and fun.

The Learned Clerk, John Freestone, hosted the event and Peter King introduced the evening. Firstly, Stephen Brown gave a tribute to the Luncheon Club’s Chairman, Past Master Tom Barton, who had instigated the event, but had tragically died a few weeks before. Stephen also mentioned Past Master Andrew Panter, a former Chairman, who had died earlier in the year. The Luncheon Club’s Honorary Chaplain, the Reverend Canon Bernard Metcalfe, said grace with his customary humour and sense of occasion.

The evening then commenced with a series of carols introduced by different members of the Club. The first carol was Once In Royal David’s City, which was started with its traditional solo verse sung by Christine Marshall. Other carols had been pre-recorded by a choir, enabling Paviors to join in muted or unmuted, as desired. Interspersed with the carols, Past Master John Price gave a rendition of Albert and the Lion, and the current Wardens, Neil Sandberg and John May, did a double-act with their version of T’was The Night Before Christmas. Throughout the evening, John Freestone ran a Christmas quiz with three rounds of tricky questions. He had thought these to be ‘easy’, but many participants found this not to be the case. Nevertheless, it was all good fun and, together with a session for chat, it was a valiant effort to provide a party that would otherwise have been missing this year. Finally, Paviors’ Master Hugh MacDougald drew the raffle – Bernard Metcalfe being a worthy winner of six bottles of wine.

Many thanks are due to the team of organizers for their efforts in putting on this unusual event.