Lunching with the Builders Merchants

Malcolm and I had happily accepted an invitation to join Master Builders Merchant Pippa Latham and her Consort Fabian for the final formal event of her year as Master. The event at Tallow Chandlers Hall felt like more of a lunch with friends than a formal Livery event as there were six others Masters and their Consorts at the lunch, all of whom had become friends over the past 11 months.

After a delicious lunch we listened to their Honorary Chaplain Rev. Canon Roger Hall who had recently taken a sabbatical and who talked about his experiences. He had spent time in Ethiopia living with some villagers in, what in the UK, would consider some very basic conditions, i.e. with no running water or toilets! During this time he was able to help local charities, eg Wateraid, and to visit parts of the country that few Europeans will have seen.

Worshipful Company of Actuaries Livery Lecture

After lunching with the Builders Merchants it was time to talk to Staple Inn to join the Actuaries for their annual lecture, and to celebrate their Ruby (40th) Anniversary. The lecturer was Sarah Winckless MBE. Sarah is a former British rower. She won a bronze medal in Double sculls with her partner Elise Laverick at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and was twice world champion, in 2005 and 2006. She won the Helen Rollason Award in 2013.

Sarah now runs a business consultancy working with firms and talking about her life as a rower linking it to management training. What I found difficult to appreciate was that Sarah considered herself an “imposter”. I had always assumed Olympic athletes to be full of confidence and driven people setting themselves some very high goals!

After the lecture I had a pleasant supper with fellow Masters.

Our new Presentee at Christ’s Hospital School

Mohammed Rahman, known to everyone as Kiyan, is the Company’s second Presentee to begin life at Christ’s Hospital School. Past Master Tom Rider, who has been appointed Donation Governor, and I travelled down to Christ’s to present Kiyan with his Tylers and Bricklayers Livery Medal.

Christ’s Hospital has always struck me as a very special learning place with its history dating back into history and in some beautiful Sussex countryside.

We met Sarah Clifton, who acts as the Liaison between Livery Companies and the School. She explained that Kiyan had settled well into the school and that had the potential to be a high achiever in the years ahead.

We lunched in the dining hall with the Principal, Sarah, Kiyan and some of the senior school monitors. It turns out that as well as enjoying maths, a very confident Kiyan is a football fan following Chelsea, and is now learning to play the piano and learning pool from one of his fellow house mates.

After lunch we walked over to the chapel for a very simple ceremony where the Chaplain blessed Kiyan’s Tylers and Bricklayers Medal, with PM Tom presenting the medal to Kiyan, who also received a certificate from the school commemorating the event.

I had a small gift of a couple of books for Kiyan which I hope he will enjoy reading.

We hope to stay in regular touch with Kiyan over the coming years and to watch him grow into what we think will be a very assured young man.

Installation of the new Sheriffs

Much to my surprise and delight I had been invited to witness the installation of the new Sheriffs of the City of London and to attend the Sheriff’s Breakfast afterwards.

The Ceremony took place in the Great Hall at Guildhall where Sheriffs Elect Alderman Michael Mainelli and Chris Hayward were surrounded by family and friends.

The Ceremony began with a procession into the Hall by City Officials, Aldermen and the outgoing and incoming Sheriffs. I will always remember the procession as it begins with the click click of heels on the stone floors of the Hall. The Sheriffs Elect are required to make an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, City and to uphold the laws in their roles of supporting the Judges at the Old Bailey. They signed Certificates using a feather pen, much to the interest of the guests watching. Having done this the robes and chains of office were removed from the outgoing Sheriffs and handed to the incoming Sheriffs. Thereafter the procession left the Hall.

I was delighted to see some fellow Masters at the event. World Trader, Mariner and Framework Knitter have become firm friends so we were able to Toast the new Sheriffs before sitting down with other guests at the Sheriff’s Breakfast in the Old Library.

I was delighted to be sitting beside Jeremy Crossley, who is so well known to the Tylers and Bricklayers and Robin Scott. Both were delightful Company and we talked much about the Livery movement and the current political situation. The menu had been specially designed for the event and was delicious.

After toasts to Her Majesty, the Royal Family and the City of London His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC the Recorder of London proposed a toast to and thanks outgoing Sheriffs Liz Green and Vincent Keaveny along with their Consorts for their work during the year. A toast to the new Sheriffs was proposed by Professor Jo Delahunty QC to which both Sheriffs replied.

Then it was time for guests to leave and the Sheriffs to begin what will undoubtedly be a very busy year ahead.