Reception with the Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers

As well as acting as Ambassadors for our respective Livery Companies the Masters also become good friends because we meet up so often at events in and around the City. So, it was a pleasure to accept an invitation from Master International Banker Mark and his wife Helen.

On this occasion it was all about catching up with the Masters who had already finished their term of office and those who were still in position. It reminded me just how important the Past Masters Association (in our case Apollo 19) will be to ensure that we all stay in touch and continue the friendships made!

Civic Dinner with the Chief Commoner and the City Remembrancer

I had to leave the drinks reception early to join other guests for a Civic Dinner held by the Chief Commoner, Past Master Tyler and Bricklayer Tom Hoffman, and City Remembrancer Paul Doble in the Chief Commoner’s Parlour at Guildhall.

Before the event a list of the guests had been circulated so I had an inkling of who I was to dine with. Amongst the guests was Rev. Stephen Golding who had just retired as Chaplain to Christ’s Hospital School, so we had a little chat about Company Apprentice Onyinye, who Stephen remembered well! Alongside me for the first course of the dinner was Commander Glynn Johns, Chief of Staff of Eastern England Naval Regional Command who explained his region was from Lincolnshire down to Kent! I also sat alongside Martin Everett who had, in former years, supplied wines to the Ts & Bs. After the second course I met Paul Batchelor, brother of Past Master Turner David, small world, and our chat included the current political turmoil and the roles of Livery Companies.

The Parlour was a room I had not yet visited in Guildhall; it had the most beautiful barrelled ceiling and paintings adorning the walls.

We dined superbly on fish, venison and fruit with some very splendid wine to accompany the evening.

Walking the Livery Halls

The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners arrange an annual walk of 39 Livery Halls to raise funds for the Sheriff & Recorders Fund, so it was an early train for me and a short walk along the river the HQS Wellington for breakfast and briefing.

Thankfully the weather was dry, but with all Masters fully gowned it did get very warm as we progressed through the City!

After the briefing we set off in an easterly direction, along with a photographer to mark our visit to each hall. With most of the hall it was just a case of a photograph outside, but we had the opportunity of visiting the IT Hall, the Girdlers Hall with its beautiful tapestry, Draper’s and Leatherseller’s Halls.

We were most grateful for the breaks for drinks at Salters Hall and the Dutch Church, lunch at Armourers Hall and we were greeted by the Dean of Southwark Cathedral as we finished the walk at Glaziers Hall.

I will admit to some very tired warm feet and enjoyed a wonderfully cooling shower when I got home.

The Company Apprentice

Our Company Apprentice Onyinye who we supported through Christ’s Hospital has now achieved a degree and is working towards her Masters before beginning a career with Deloittes.

She has been invited to address Common Hall in October and wanted to meet up to talk through the Address and to catch up generally. She will be talking to the audience in the Great Hall about how her life has changed since she began at Christ’s Hospital, all thanks to the Ts &Bs.

She is a remarkable young lady with many City connections already in place. I am sure her address will be carried out with aplomb and over a dozen Tylers and Bricklayers will be in the Hall to support her on this very special occasion.

Past Masters planning ahead

To ensure that Masters of the current year have the chance of staying in touch after their year ends, Past Masters Groups are set up.

I had volunteered to be part of the Committee and we spent a useful couple of hours sorting out banking arrangements, websites and our first event which will be a black tie dinner at Blacksmiths Hall in November.