I had a quick return visit to the Mansion House to represent the Company at the Dragon Awards.
The awards were founded in 1987 by the then Lord Mayor, Sir David Rowe-Ham. They were the first of their kind in the UK, and remain the only London-wide scheme that recognises Corporate Community Involvement. Since the first Awards, over 130 Dragon Awards have been given to companies ranging from small local enterprises, to large multi-national businesses.
The name and the Award statuettes are based on the dragons that have guarded to gates to the City of London for centuries. These dragons can also be found on the City of London’s coat of arms.
It was really interesting to see how many companies were making significant positive social impacts with their programmes. Winners included PWC, UBS and Arsenal Football Club.
We are in the middle of our committee meeting cycle ahead of the Court meeting on 26th October. Yesterday was the Charity Committee meeting at which we discussed, inter alia, fund raising plans for next year. Our strategy is to run 6 events each year from which we would hope to raise the majority of our funds to support our giving. These will include long established events such as PMA and possibly a new one each year. It is the intention that the events will help us reach out to the wider property community to improve the awareness of the Company and ensure we are not drawing on the generosity of the same people each time.
The idea is to form a committee around each event which we would hope to run for several years until the event reaches its sell by date. Alistair Subba Row is master minding our strategy and if anyone wants to join one of the fund raising groups please get in touch with the Clerk and she will put you in touch.
It is with great sadness that we have been notified by Robin’s family that he passed away on 22nd September. Robin was a Liveryman from the very beginning of the Company. We were in correspondence earlier in the year remembering the Drivers Jonas days where I started my career at the time he was senior partner. A lovely man who will be missed by the many friends he made in the profession.
Over 100 hundred of the members of the Livery have now responded to the 40th Anniversary fund raising appeal donating some £35,000 before gift aid. A huge thank you for this incredible support. We will close the appeal on 26th October so if you are thinking of giving there is still time to do so. Treloar’s will be taking delivery of the new coach we have helped fund in January 2018.
The first social event of the newly formed WCCS Racing Club was a very enjoyable visit to Charlie Mann’s stables in Upper Lambourn. The Club has purchased one of 25 shares in the 25 Club which owns 4 national hunt horses in training with Charlie.
Each of the 4 horses was paraded in front of us. The Ogle Goggle Man was first up followed by Zen Master,Lion Dancer and then the mare, Welcome Polly. All were looking fit and healthy and are expected to be on the race course shortly. Zen Master is probably going to be the first one to make his debut.Following the parade we had a guided tour of the stables and met some of the stable stars. We finished with a fantastic pub Sunday lunch at a racing pub down the road.
Our membership is capped at 20 and we are close to that limit. If any one is interested in joining for an all in £500 that includes a share in the ownership of the horses and their prize money then please contactthe Clerk, who is our Racing Club secretary.
Clockwise from top left- Ogle Gogle Man, Zen Master, Lion Dancer and Welcome Polly
I took a table at the dinner organised by Past Master Roger Southam who is also a Trustee of Treloar’s. Our Livery was represented by Amanda Jackson, Ken Morgan and Master elect Tony Joyce as well as myself and Caroline.
We enjoyed a moving musical recital from some of the pupils with plenty of audience participation and actions. Not the forte of the Master but right up the street of his wife! After brisk bidding in a silent auction and an auction proper the evening raised a total of £75,000 towards some new technology equipment. Our Company was also singled out in the Lord Mayor’s speech for our donation to the Treloar’s coach appeal.
I attended a fascinating lecture given by Lord Deben, better known as the former Conservative Minister John Gummer. Lord Deben is the Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change and spoke to an audience largely from the fossil fuel industries.
The motto of the Fuellers is In carbone robur nostrum (Our Strength is in carbon). The Fuellers’ origins can be traced back to the Woodmongers in the 14th Century but their modern membership now incorporates coal, oil, nuclear, gas, electricity and renewable energy industries.
Lord Deben made some interesting comments on how the cost of offshore wind energy had fallen to be competitive with nuclear. He stressed the opportunities lay in carbon capture and storage for the gas industry and threw down a challenge to the house builders who he said were still producing low quality energy efficient homes. He also showed a masterful grasp of his brief during a wide ranging question and answer session.
I attended a reception at the Saddlers’ Hall at which the Company was well represented with Tony Joyce, Master Elect and Past Master Lawrence Johnstone also present. We really value our connection with the Newham Sea Cadets who honoured us with their presence at our Spring Dinner at the Fishmongers’ Hall.
The Sea Cadets offers young people across the UK amazing opportunities for personal development — by learning new skills and working in teams and offering an environment where young people find new confidence and inspiration.
Established in 1856 the Sea Cadets was created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme. Traditionally old seafarers provided training while local businessmen funded the unit building.
Today, 14,000 young people based in 400 units in towns, cities and ports across the UK are challenging themselves and developing new skills, like sailing, boating and rock climbing — supported by 9,000 volunteers.
The Farmers put on a fantastic lunch at the Fletchers and Farmers Hall with many Companies represented. Their senior warden is a Chartered Surveyor.
The speech from the head of farming at HSBC was very interesting and highlighted the global challenge for the food industry given population growth trends in areas of the world that already cannot feed themselves without imports. The risks of Brexit to our own food industry was highlighted given our own dependence on imports.
It was the turn of the World Traders’ Company to host the latest modern livery companies’ dinner held at the Wax Chandlers Hall. Located in the Foster Lane Conservation Area, the current brick and granite styled building is the sixth design of the Hall on the same site since 1501.
Modern Companies are so called because they came into being from the twentieth century onwards. After the Fan Makers were granted their Livery in 1809 no new Companies were formed for over a 100 years until the Master Mariners in 1926.
Around 30 liverymen and guests attended a fantastic production of Phantom of the Opera. When I first saw the show 30 years ago it was clear it had raised the bar of West End entertainment. All this time later it is still the benchmark and drew a standing ovation across the theatre.
The seeds of the evening were sown at my installation dinner when we had a Phantom song during the musical interlude. Special thanks to Laurence Johnstone whose superb organisational skills got us the best seats for a fantastic price and also to Simon Camamile for arranging for pre theatre drinks and nibbles at the East India Club.