Common Hall for the Election of the New Lord Mayor of London
It was an early start as I struggled to get to the City following power failures and trees on the line on the local railway network. I was somewhat relieved to find a seat on a train as the game of “sardines” was played out on the train as a result of so many cancellations.
I reached the Members Dining Room of Guildhall feeling just a bit flustered but Mark Groves who was hosting the breakfast soon sat me down with a glass of some bubbles and I relaxed and enjoyed the delicious breakfast he and his colleagues served up.
The it was down into the Crypt to gown up and attend the church service prior to the election of the Lord Mayor in St Lawrence Jewry, just across Guildhall Yard. As I sat in the church the sun was pouring through the stain glass windows lightening up the Church where the Civic Party, Aldermen and 110 Livery Masters worshipped.
After the Service it was time to process into Guildhall itself to take part in Common Hall. This was to be quite a special occasion for the Ts & Bs as our Company Apprentice Onyinye had been invited to speak about how her life had changed when she became our Presentee at Christs Hospital.
It is fair to say the election was a bit of a foregone conclusion with Alderman William Russell elected unanimously by those present. Whilst we awaited the formal procedures carried out by the Aldermen the Assistant Town Clerk talked about the importance that the City places on education and then invited Onyinye to speak. She talked about her life and how it had changed following support from the Tylers and Bricklayers, and as I listened I felt like a very proud Mum with a few tears in my eyes – I hope that Onyinye’s parents were able to see the video and were also proud of her achievements.
At the conclusion of Common Hall we left to enjoy a lunch at a local hostelry with Onyinye as our guest of honour and I was very pleased to be able to return her Christs Hospital Medallion as an extra reminder of the day.
Musicians Evensong at St Pauls
After lunch it was time to walk over to St Pauls to gown up and take part in the Musicians Company Evensong along with some 100 Livery Masters and Members.
Being able to sit in St Pauls for a church service during the year has been wonderful, especially to listen to the voices of the young choristers with their angelic voices. As well as singing hymns the choirs also sang prayers and anthems. There was a particularly poignant few minutes as the Royal College of Music String Orchestra played Elegy for Strings in memory of the Musicians who has passed away during the year.