On the 23rd April the Clerk and I attended a most delightful lunch as guests of the Waterman and Lighterman, it was held at the Waterman’s Hall which is just off lower Thames Street, almost on the water’s edge. This is where we are holding our lunch in July. The Waterman and Lighterman are not strictly a Livery company but they were granted their Arms in 1585 and the double dolphin supporting their shield is testimony to their watery heritage.
Their Master Paul Ludwig, is also her majesty’ s boat master and will be performing a vital role in the Jubilee celebrations.
Court assistant Mark Larard represented the master at 135 Squadron’s annual Endeavor Award dinner at Ewell. There were over 80 members of the unit present (past and current) to celebrate the award that WCCS makes each year.
This year’s recipient Sgt Neil Watkins was on fine form, and although he received the award from the master in November, this was his opportunity to speak. Sgt Watkins spoke to thank the company for the award, and then talked about what he does with the T.A. and why it means so much to him.
I was also asked to say a few words (always nice to have some notice!) and it gave me the opportunity to talk about why we have the affiliation, what it means to us, and our aim of giving recognition to those who serve on a voluntary basis. It also gave me a chance to thank all the wives and girlfriends who support those serving, and who are left holding the fort at weekends, or during annual camps, or mobilised tours when members go away to train and serve. I was then asked to present flowers to Mrs Liz Watkins to thank her for all the support she provides to Neil so he can continue to serve.
It was lovely to be back in Ewell with 135 and to be able to see the whole squadron on such good form.
This year instead of a forth dinner, we decided to have a “getting to know you drinks party” which was aimed at enabling Liverymen to meet the Court and each other on a more informal basis and providing an opportunity to introduce potential new members to the Livery.
Many thanks to Julian Smith, Colin Peacock and Simon Camamile for organising this event. Held on 17 April, it was as a great success, so much so that it has been suggested we might repeat the idea in the autumn. The party was hosted at the East India club in St James Square, a very splendid setting and convenient for those based in the West End. It was exceptionally well attended with over 100 people accepting – and even better most of them attended, in spite of the April showers outside. My special thanks to the Wardens and the Court who helped host the evening.
Colin had arranged for Chris Moon to speak at the event, Chris is an inspiration and entertained us from the rather precarious position standing on a table!
Chris Moon MBE is a motivational speaker who walks the talk. He was blown up in Africa clearing landmines and lost his lower arm and leg. Less than a year after leaving hospital he completed the London Marathon and now runs the world’s toughest ultra-marathons. He is one of the worlds few long distance (50 miles plus) amputee marathon runners and his motto is “you can do it”.