Several Masters and I were privileged to be present at Stationers Hall to witness the granting of The Freedom of the City of London to His Imperial Highness The Prince Napoleon, Head of The Imperial House of Bonaparte in the year of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
It was an amazing evening attended by a glittering array of European Royals and other very distinguished guests. We all enjoyed a splendid banquet illuminated by candles, guarded by Pikemen, and accompanied by musicians and trumpeters.
I joined about 30 Freemen of our Company at a Formal CPD event kindly hosted by Cushman and Wakefield in their splendid offices.
The speaker was Antony Phillips on L & T leading cases this year.
It was an excellent opportunity for me to meet many of our Freemen and to encourage interaction with our Company. They expressed a willingness to volunteer to help out with our events viz The TowerAthlon.
I attended Mansion House with our Clerk. After refreshments all Masters and Clerks were seated in the Egyptian Hall to hear the new Lord Mayor talk about his year. Lord Mountevans describes himself as a “Maritime Lord Mayor” based on his background. I noted particularly his shared support of Sea Cadets who need more adult volunteer helpers. The afternoon concluded with an excellent glass of champagne.
Students from all four of our schools met up at Temple Church where we were given an excellent talk by the Verger on the history of the Church. After a group photograph, we we proceeded to the gallery of Middle Temple Hall for a brief presentation mainly given by two bright graduate students from Savills on a career as surveyors in the property profession.
We all had the privilege of dining in the Hall, a fine example of Elizabethan architecture.
It was was fun talking with the students, who were a great credit to themselves and to their schools.
Twenty liverymen and guests joined my husband and me in a fascinating visit. The Windsor Herald of Arms, William Hunt, gave us an amusing and informative overview of the history of the College and showed us some of the notable coats of arms including our own. The evening concluded with an excellent buffet supper.
The Master, Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf, hosted a splendid Dinner in the delightful modern Haberdashers’ Hall. The GHSM provided a beautiful musical interlude and we heard an excellent speech, which was both witty and meaningful, by Sir Peter Hendy, former Chairman of Network Rail.
This Annual Celebration of Music was this year held at St Paul’s in aid of Help Musicians UK. I attended with 28 Masters, The Lord Mayor and both Sheriffs. We processed in gowns and badges to the South Transept.
The music and the anthems were amazing. Readers included Sir Willard White. We enjoyed a stunning solo performance on violin by Tasmin Little and the excellent address by Sir Richard Stilgoe.
The splendid singing was lead by the combined choirs of St Paul’s, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.
It was a real pleasure to attend the Actuaries Lecture in the historic Staple Inn Hall with its amazingly beamed roof.
The Masters of most of the Companies were present to hear a lecture by The Right Hon. Lord Willetts on “The Baby Boomers and their Pensions”.
We enjoyed a delicious two course supper with a question and answer session concluding the evening.
I was privileged to attend this evening along with several other Masters and to have the opportunity to meet our music student Tomyr Warcaba-Wood aged 19. He is one of 5 children, his father died when he was 8 and his mother with great sacrifice and dedication educated all her children, several are gifted musicians.
Tomyr’s main instrument is trombone. He admires his tutor Simon Wills tremendously. He is a remarkably mature, sensible and mature young man.
He says that we have made all the difference for him and that he would not have been able to study at GHSM without the support of WCCS. I found it a truly heart warming and humbling experience.
We were entertained throughout the evening by a delightful string quartet.
Our Wardens, William Hill and Daniel Carter joined and supported me in the 800th Lord Mayor’s Show. We were part of the Modern Companies grouping.
The tragic events in Paris the day before were marked by 2 minutes silence at 11am.
As the procession progressed we kept up a smart pace spurred on by the cheering of the crowds, the military bands and the enthusiasm of our fellow liverymen. We saluted the new Lord Mayor and Sheriffs on the balcony to Mansion House and we enjoyed the hospitality of the Master Mariner on HMS Wellington at lunchtime.
In all it was a splendid occasion though sadly more than a little damp!
My husband and I were delighted to be invited with some other Masters to join guests on RNR ‘HMS President’ for breakfast to spectate the opening of Tower Bridge for the arrival of the Flotilla, to see The Lord Mayor and his Sheriffs in all their finery and to share the “Rum Ceremony” with them.
I was kindly invited, as a guest, by Past Master Elizabeth Edwards to an informal gathering of Current and Past Lady Masters in Guildhall. It was a jolly occasion with a very useful exchange of ideas and a good opportunity to make new contacts. We enjoyed an excellent buffet supper.
We had a fun evening at The East India Club. After welcome drinks we enjoyed a supper interspersed with quiz questions on a variety of topics. Rivalry amongst the teams was keen, I presented the winners with a handsome plate.
Our thanks to the helpful (and corruptable) Quiz Master, Chris Mills, Simon Waugh for his organisation and to Simon Camomile the Club Member.
My husband and I drove to 135 Squadron in Ewell where we were joined by liveryman David Reynolds and welcomed by the Commanding Officer Major Charlie Wasilewski and Major Dil Limbu. We all attended a wreath laying ceremony and Service of Remembrance in St Mary’s Church.
The Endeavour Award winner this year is Cpl. Sandra O’Neill. She is currently serving in Cyprus so I presented the Tankard to the Commanding Officer who received it on her behalf. A delicious Gurkha Curry lunch followed the presentation.
I was joined by several Past Masters and some Liverymen at a most moving Service for all Surveyors who died and suffered as a result of war, held in St Margaret’s Westminster. The music was beautifully led by the RICS Singers, the address given by The Reverend Paddy Cable, former Assistant Chaplin General RAChD and the Commendation was delivered by Prof. Alan Gillett OBE DSc FRICS.
Students from all four of our schools joined Amanda and me on a most interesting tour of the Central Crimminal Court. We were addressed, amused and guided by Charles Henty, The Under-Sheriff and Secondary of London who is responsible for the smooth running of the Courts.
It was an honour to represent the Company at the Royal British Legion Service in the grounds of St Paul’s. The Band of the Coldstream Guards and the Legion Standards, carried by veterans, were in attendance. The Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, Ian Luder, the Sheriffs and all Masters planted crosses. In all it was a most moving and solemn occasion.