Today was an important event for the Company, our own Annual Craft Awards and Luncheon held at Carpenters' Hall. The Awards Ceremony has traditionally been held at Trinity House in the past, but due to ever expanding numbers of guests, this year it was moved to the larger venue of Carpenters' Hall.
The day commenced with a meeting of the Court at which much Company business was discussed, including reports from the Chairmen of the Finance, Craft, Communications and Treasures Committees plus reports from the Almoner and the Royal Engineers Liaison Group and an update on the Strategic Review. The Master tabled proposals for the Officers for the year 2020/21 and these were supported and approved by the Court. It was also a great pleasure to admit Mr Alan Lander and welcome him as a Freeman of the Company and also to admit Mr James Wheeler and welcome him as Liveryman of the Company. Finally, the Charity of the year for 2020 was announced as St Edmunds, a charity that works with those excluded from mainstream education.
Following the Court Meeting there was a tour of Carpenters' Hall, led by Julie Tancell, the Hall Archivist which was supported by around 25 Liverymen and guests and much enjoyed.
At 1:00 pm the Master and Consort, Upper Warden, Renter Warden welcomed all the guests in the usual line, with one exception; instead of shaking hands, we all bowed to each other to avoid direct contact in accordance with the best health advice. This seemed to be much appreciated by all attending.
It was a pleasure to welcome my principal guest, Lt Col Mark Stephenson RE, Commanding Officer of the Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment, as well as all the wonderful award winners and our friends from the construction industry.
After a champagne reception we were called in to lunch which commenced with Grace by the Company Chaplain. Lunch consisted of a starter of Thai Curried Smoked Haddock Fish Cake with Lemon Grass Drizzle, followed by Cannon of Lancashire Grass Fed Lamb with Dauphinoise Potatoes and Vegetables, with Vanilla and Cinnamon Cake and Classic English Custard for dessert. All accompanied by fine wines and a beautiful Madeira chosen by our Wine Committee Chairman, Past Master Philip Parris.
The Loyal and Civic toasts were followed by the welcome to the guests by the Master, response by the Principal Guest, Lt Col Mark Stephenson RE and toast to the Company by our youngest Liveryman, James Wheeler.
We then moved to the highlight of the day which was the presentation of the much deserved awards to the wonderful winners by the Craft Committee Chairman, Chris Causer, the Principal Guest and the Master.
This was a wonderful event which showcased the very best in our construction industry and our wonderful colleagues in the Royal Engineers.