Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of London and her Consort Nicholas Woolf gave an inspiring and in depth presentation on the “Lord Mayor’s Charity Leadership Programme”.
This is a new initiative and has come about because of the ad hoc and disparate charitable giving of the Mayoralty in the past. The result has been the creation of a formal “Lord Mayor’s Appeal Charity” with a permanent staff and with the objectives of providing funds to charities where it can make a difference.
The 4 adopted funds are “Beating Bowel Cancer”; “Princess Alice Hospice”; “Raleigh International” and “Working Chance”. I will not explain how they all operate but would point out that they are all small charities and that every additional donation makes a difference in areas where there is need for help.
Each Charity was represented and individual presentations were made by their CEO’s with the common theme that the Lord Mayors Appeal was already making a difference both in terms of confidence in their business model and the funds they are receiving.
Other subjects covered were school and community mentoring, diversity in the City as a whole and sustainability of effort and objectives in terms of charitable giving.
The general feeling was that the modern liveries, because of their lack of large endowment and foundation funds, focused more on the giving up of time and expertise. It was generally felt that more focus was required by all livery companies on specific areas where they could make a difference and this could include support for the more focused and permanent Lord Mayor’s Appeal.
Much of this was news to me and very revealing about the new broom, which is sweeping through the Mayoralty on Charitable giving. We will be looking at the implications of this and considering if there are any changes which are appropriate for our Livery through our Charitable Board now chaired by Mark Larard.
It was an excellent afternoon which provided the opportunity for a close and personal meeting with the Lord Mayor and to discuss a really relevant and live issue with important considerations for the future.
Graham F. Chase. Master
The installation dinner attracted just short of 300 Liverymen and guests who were entertained by our two speakers Lord Neuberger, the President of the UK Supreme Court and Nigel Wray the City of London entrepreneur and Chairman of Saracens RFC.
Plaisterers Hall, although built in the basement of a modern office block in 1972 is a magnificent Robert Adams Neo Classical faithful reproduction using the original Adams mouldings. Not only were the surroundings impressive but it is one of the largest livery halls in the City, which was helpful as we took up every available seat.
Our other guests included the Master Plaisterer; Master Pavior, Master City of London Solicitor; Master Architect; Master Arbitrator and the Master Constructor.
The general theme was business, the rule of law and role of the City coupled with how Institutions remain relevant and the criteria of performance expected of them. However we were soothed on these weighty subjects by the excellent RICS Singers who sang beautifully and included a newly written piece by Professor Alan Gillett, the Father of the company, entitled “He is the Master now”
The food and wine were excellent with my thanks to the caterers, Create Food and the wine merchants, Vintage Cellars who could not have performed better.
The numbers put timing up against the clock but we finished when we said we would albeit with a slightly extended stirrup cup. My thanks go to our Learned Clerk, Amanda Jackson, for her organisation and patience.
I am most grateful to everyone who made the evening such a wonderful and memorable event.
Photographs are available on Michael O’Sullivan’s excellent web site at: www.michaelosullivanphotography.co.uk.
Graham F. Chase. Master
The Court meeting and Common Hall witnessed the stepping down of Elizabeth Edwards from the Chair and my installation as Master.
My thanks go to Liz for her fantastic successes over the past 12 months. These have included the record fund raising Masked Ball at HAC and securing our new base at Apothecaries Hall, amongst a number of other notable achievements.
This followed on from the adoption by the Court of the important new 3 year business plan. I will be writing to all Livery members to advise them of its content and a copy will be placed on the website in the Members section. Our thanks go to Past Master Laurence Johnstone for tackling this critical task and coming forward with a comprehensive but easily understood document which can readily be remembered.
An important element of our business plan is to secure our target of 400 Liverymen with a waiting list. May I encourage all Livery Members to bring forward suitable new candidates for consideration.
Finally I am pleased that we presented 6 new Liverymen to the Court: Robert Hall; Philip Walker; Marina Krisko; Paul Disley-Tindell; Matthew Kelly and Ted Muxworthy. We wish them a very warm welcome and an enjoyable time as members of our Livery.
Graham F. Chase. Master
And so to my final engagement, the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters’ banquet at Mansion House. The Framework Knitters are mostly based around Leicester which is the home of the UK hosiery industry. The Guild was incorporated by Letters Patent on 13th June 1659 and became a Livery Company in 1713, ranking it 64 in the order of Livery Companies.
The Company initiated its Bursary and Awards scheme in order to encourage students to take an interest in the knitting and knitwear industry and a number of the winners were presented with their awards during the Banquet.
Master Linda Smith had invited Sir David Wootton to reply to the Civic toast and Ian Davenport replied on behalf of the guests.
I was hosted by the immediate Past Master, Stephen Woolfe and enjoyed a delightful and relaxed evening, together with many of the Masters I have got to know during my year, including Clare Chisholm, Master Wheelwright, Dorothy Saul Pooley, Master Air Pilot, Douglas Clasby, Master Fanmaker, David Bentley, Master Baker, David Raines, Master Distiller.
It was a fitting dinner to end my year: huge fun and with many new friends.
The Mansion House was packed for the Engineers’ Annual Banquet. Mike and I were hosted by Jenna and David Davies. A stunning evening made more so by the guest speaker, HRH The Princess Royal, who was incredibly witty as she spoke about the necessity for Women to study core subjects and raised a cheer when she admitted that always preferred Mechano, as a child, to Lego. The Representative Lord Mayor, Sheriff Fiona Adler responded to the Civic toast.
A wonderful evening amongst great company.
A wonderful evening shared by liverymen and guests at the Central Ballet School in Clerkenwell. We were treated to performances by the three years, showing how they learn the various dances and the hard work required in order to achieve the amazingly high standards. It was difficult to comprehend that most of these students are 17 to 21 years old, but they display maturity behind their years .This year we gave burseries to two final year students who are incredibly talented and will have a fantastic future ahead of them.
We then repaired to a local restaurant to continue the evening. As always, a very big thank you to Past Master Laurence Johnstone.
A glorious celebration of music and hymns for the Musicians Company, together the Royal College of Music String Orchestra playing Elgar’s Elegy for Strings.
These services really do bring the companies together , sitting together under the great dome of St Paul’s. A great feeling of Fellowship and the reason we participate. Afterwards, we gathered in the crypt for a reception .
St Lawrence Jewry was filled to capacity for the Divine Service. This is an historical service of celebration as well as guidance prior to the Election of The Lord Mayor which follows afterwards. The Livery companies filed into their pews, followed by the Civic procession and clergy .
We sang some well known hymns and listened to a beautifully sung aria from Cosi Fan Tutte ‘ Soave sia il vento’. This was quite a solemn service prior to the lively nature of the Election, for which we filed out following The Lord Mayor and the Civic procession into Guildhall.
The Common Hall Election of The Lord Mayor is open to all liverymen, although tickets must be obtained in advance from the Clerk. It follows a format, but is done with good humour and elegance and never fails to entertain, especially when the Sherifs discuss and agree the election results. Alderman Alan Yarrow was elected the 687th Lord Mayor.