Meeting so many Livery Companies means that we come into contact with lots of experts and professionals with unique knowledge and skills. Whilst these are not always explicit at the dinner table the conversation can often lead to interesting topics and experiences.
One such arose in December as the Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths, Tim Schroder, expressed an interest in looking at the Plaisterers’ silver in our vault. This was also a chance for me to view this (other than on the dining table). A couple of rosewater bowls were judged very interesting and two items donated to the Company by Jonathan Gregory in 1727 piqued my interest as to who was he and why did he donate these items? A bit more historical research would be needed here.
December saw me travelling again both as Master and as a City Alderman. I attended the COP25 Climate Conference in Madrid speaking about the role of finance to help fund the transition to a low carbon economy. This was in my role as a non-executive director of the Green Finance Institute. It is a topic that is of high priority to various Livery Companies including the Wax Chandlers (who are concerned about these matters arising from their link to bees) and the Water Conservators (who are planning another series of events in March around Water Week). Livery Companies certainly have a role in working on these issues.
For the Plaisterers I had two trips to Devon to award prizes to the Landing Craft graduates trained by the renamed unit 47 Commando Raiding Group (formerly 1 Assault Group) and then to Lympstone to give prizes to the newly qualified signallers. The training by the Royal Marines is exceptional and intense and it was heartening to hear how they are constantly reviewing and upgrading this training in order to focus the work and create skilled marines to meet the new demands of their changing role as a world class commando troop.