Dining with the Spectacle Makers

Some dear friends invited Malcolm and I to join them for the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers Annual Dinner at the spectacular Goldsmith’s Hall.

Whilst I was an “incognito” Master on this occasion, it was a pleasure to meet Master Spectacle Maker and his Wardens before sitting down to eat in the magnificent Hall. It turned out that opposite me was Spectacle Maker Simon Bartley who I knew better as the Chairman of World Skills and had met a few months previously to discuss the Company’s support of the UK team at World Skills.

Simon was able to confirm that all arrangements for the World Competition were going well and I hoped that the two competitors representing wall and floor tiling, and bricklaying would do well at the competition in August.

Founders Day at the City of London Girls School

I had accepted an invitation to join the girls of the City of London Girls School Founders Day with ease, after all the school had been founded by Tyler and Bricklayer William Ward, great great grandfather of Past Master Nicholas Ward, some 125 years ago.

The Speaker addressing the girls was none other than “Malala’s father” (his words not mine) Ziauddin Yousafzai.  He explained that he came from a patriarchal family where his 5 sisters did not receive the same education or freedom of choice as him, but when he married, he did so for love.  He and his wife set up a school for girls and boys in Pakistan to provide an education. When the Taliban took power in the area, they decreed that girls should not be educated and Malala spoke out against this and was shot in the head.

After she recovered from the dreadful injuries, she sustained she and her father set up the Malala Fund, a charity aiming to give every girl in the world the opportunity to have 12 years of education and have the freedom to chose what to do with her life.

As I sat listening to this story, I could not help but think how fortunate I and every other girl and women in the room were to have had a full education and a life of our own choosing.  

Youthbuild UK Patrons Evening

Malcolm and I, and Deputy Master Jeff and Catherine Fuller were delighted to accept an invitation to the Patrons Evening of Youthbuild UK in the beautiful River Room of the House of Lords.

The occasion was to thank the organisations who support this well deserving charity, and which will be our Charity of the Year for the Livery year 2019-2020.  

Amongst the speakers was Zinnia Coleman who had won the 2018 Youthbuild UK Award, a young lady whose story I have told several times before.