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The MML Christmas party seems to pop up with alarming regularity, and this year's followed the time-honoured format.
The Chairman offered a pun-filled welcome to the guests (including a bevy of beavers from the Fylde coast) before introducing special performing guest Paul Joyce with his own brand of magical mayhem. There was some splashy magic painting, a ring lost and found in a nest of boxes, a balloon in a tube which defied the usual laws of bursting, Lovey Duck and a splendid array of increasingly large wands; all enhanced by enthusiastic helpers Freya and Elijah.
Marmalade the Monkey made an appearance, attempting to blow up a balloon with hilarious consequences, then our very own Donald the Average (most ably assisted by Francesca) presented his transformation of the witch and the farmer . . . a very effective illusion complementing the tale of Laura Trotter.
Following the mince-pie and orange juice break and well-stocked raffle, Donald returned with his very own quiz game with Green Beaver Sian as the contestant. Sian eventually won the star prize of a balloon dog after a lot of amusing by-play.
Man of the Day, of course, was Father Christmas - magically produced on this occasion with the help of an ingenious D the A illusion. The spontaneous delight of one of his audience helpers as he flung his arms around Santa made it all worthwhile.
It was great to have Joe and Jackie with us again, along with Bob Benyon who generously provided a balloon creation for each child in the audience. Craig mastered the technology, while Margaret and Betty provided invaluable help in the kitchen and beyond. Although unable to be there, Joan had purchased and wrapped al of the prezzies which emerged from Santa's bulging sack, and President Roger, of course, was much in evidence throughout the afternoon.
Green Beaver commented that, over the whole year, this is the one event which creates the most response and support from her young charges . . . and so we are already looking forward to next year!
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