Plaisterers Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Laying of the Foundation Stone of Plaisterers’ Hall
There have been times over the past 15 months when I truly thought I would never get to experience livery fraternity, as enjoyed by our Past Masters. How wrong I was. In September, Fellowship and Fraternity returned to the City of London in abundance. Invitations to Livery Luncheons and Dinners postponed from last year or delayed from this, arrived in their droves. I have been entertained lavishly by so many of our fellow livery companies and their Masters, making up for lost time. We Plaisterers will of course be reciprocating their generosity at our Masters & Clerks Dinner in January 2022. I am looking forward to another bumper attendance for that Dinner.
My last Blog was July, 2021 when I wrote of livery life gradually returning to the City of London and about Common Hall, our Robing Ceremony, the Church Service and the Robing Dinner. For that dinner we seated approximately 120 in our Hall that evening. For our Banquet on the 5 October, we seated over 260 people. An absolutely magnificent attendance to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Laying of the Foundation Stone of our magnificent Hall and to honour those Past Masters and Clerks whose vision it was to build it.
We were lucky to have with us some of those Past Masters involved in the original build or the subsequent rebuild between 2000 – 2004. Also, current members who were young liverymen in 1971. Tears were in abundance as they were asked to remain seated whilst we stood and applauded them. It was also a proud evening for those members who have inherited the famous surnames of their forebears who were part of the team who masterminded the project.
It was good to share this special anniversary with our guests, friends, associates and our families, including our extended families, our military affiliates. Representatives from our Armed Forces included the Commandant General of the Royal Marines, the Commanding Officer of SRR and the President of the SRRA. HMS Dragon was represented, together with 282 Air Cadets (East Ham) Squadron, who also provided the Carpet Guard.
Our Guest Speaker for the dinner was Alderman, Sheriff Nicholas Lyons, who joined in with our celebrations with gusto. He said afterwards that he was in pole position for an extremely entertaining evening and that he learnt a lot about our Company and the work we do. I was lucky to be on the front row of the grid with him and the Commandant General. Both great conversationalists and they kept me entertained throughout the dinner.
I loved the Commemorative Menu Card put together by the Clerk’s Office and will keep it in memory of a very special evening. Look out for the photographs on the website and in the next edition of the Newsletter. The next time you are in the Humber or Mott Rooms in our Hall, please remember those 2 extraordinary men of vision and enterprise, Past Master Harry Humber and the Clerk Henry Mott. It was an honour for me to speak about these men and others; their legacy, our magnificent Hall, the home of the Plaisterers’ Company.
I concluded my speech that evening by quoting from the Plaisterers’ Song composed by Harry Humber in 1973.
‘Through all the centuries proudly proclaim
The motto by which we all live steadfastly the same
By brotherly love we are bound one and all
And by that motto shall we ever stand or fall’
‘Let Brotherly Love Continue’