I was a guest of the Master, Nicholas Hughes, at the City Solicitors’ Livery Dinner held at the Drapers Hall. The principal guest was Major General Susan Ridge, Director of the Army Legal Services. A very enjoyable evening to finish a busy livery week.
Caroline and I represented the Company at Westminster Abbey at a service to mark the Festival of St Cecilia. Modern festivities date back to 1946 and is an important fund raiser for Help Musicians UK, the country’s leading independent music charity which helped some 2,600 musicians last year. St Cecilia, a Roman woman, was martyred in 230 AD for her Christian faith and is the patroness of musicians. The first recorded event in her memory was in 1570 in Normandy. An Ode to St Cecilia was composed by Henry Purcell in 1692.
The first social event of my year saw 30 people enjoy a very privileged insight into the world of Port courtesy of a guided tasting of 6 vintage Sandeman Ports by Ligia Marques, Wine Educator, the House of Sandeman. The 2000 had most acclaim and a good Christmas present idea if you can find some! Many thanks to Jonathan Wallach and to his colleague Bernard Hornung for organising a special event.
A really proud moment for some young people who received certificates from the President of the RICS to mark their completion of level 3 apprenticeships. I presented a prize on behalf of the Company and as chair of CSTT the apprentice of the year award. The RICS provided some excellent hospitality which was enjoyed by the largest year group of apprentices we have seen to completion to date.
An important milestone for the Company with the hanging of the Royal Charter in its new home in the library of the RICS at Great George Street. In a ceremony hosted by Amanda Clack, RICS President, we unveiled it in the presence of a small group from the Court and Laurence Johnstone, a member of the Royal Charter Committee.
A really enjoyable event at Staple Inn Hall with a pre dinner talk from FT columnist and author John Kay on risk and uncertainty in business. John put a historical overview on his talk tracking risk management back to the coffee houses and the start of the insurance industry. Sally Bridgeland, the first lady master actuary, hosted the evening attended by a number of other masters.
Attended a very informative seminar today at the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Cazenove Capital manage our funds and ran an investment event especially for charities. Fascinating insight into how big data helps improve investment decisions and a good paper from James Thornton of Mayfair Capital on charities investing in property. Key note speech on robotics and the rebuilding of the UK’s first robot Eric. Eric will be on display at the Science museum next year.
Caroline and I attended a Remembrance Service at St Mary’s Ewell with representatives of our military affiliate 135 Geographic Squadron. Back at their base I then presented an endeavour award on behalf of the Company. We presented this for the first time as long ago as 1979. We will be welcoming the commanding officer, Neal Archer, at the Spring Dinner as our guest. Thank you Neal for you hospitality today and making us so welcome and to Assistant David Reynolds for all the organising behind the scenes.
Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden braved the elements and participated in a spectacular parade. Due to some smart thinking by the JW who befriended Gyles Brandreth in Starbucks earlier in the morning, we did get a mention on the BBC broadcast! Thank you to PM Jenna for her support from the stand by St Paul’s Cathedral. Have a look at the event on BBC iplayer if you missed it.
The Company was well represented at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey for the RICS Service of Remembrance. We listened to a very powerful address by John Kronenberg, the Company Chaplain which I will try and get posted on the website.
The Clerk and I represented the company at the Royal British Legion service to open the Garden of Remembrance in St Paul’s churchyard this morning. All 110 livery companies took it in turns to plant a cross and poppy in the churchyard grass. A lot of City ceremony, medals on show and much to reflect on.
A privilege to attend Mansion House as a guest of the first female Master Engineer, Isobel Pollock-Hulf OBE and in the company of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs. A lovely evening and made some new friends from other livery companies.
Great job done by Clwyd Roberts, chair of our education committee, Ema Saunders and Savills team in providing a presentation on careers in surveying and law to 20 students from Robert Clack and Archbishop Tenison’s School. Many thanks to Robert Highmore of Charles Russell Speechly for hosting and providing the legal insight and also to Katherine Parker of Chartered Surveyors Training Trust for explaining apprenticeships. Some serious interest in surveying as career generated and requests for work placements.