The Story So Far

The Story So Far

 ‘All Dressed Up and No Place to Go!’

The Story So Far

On the 21st August, I was reminded by the Deputy Master that I had been in Office one month without ever being in the office! Since leaving our Hall after our Robing Ceremony on the 21 July I have not been back to 1 London Wall, but fellow Plaisterers I can assure you I have been working, albeit from home. I have remained on standby mode in case any of the events still in my social diary marked ‘to be confirmed’ were confirmed, but alas the cancellations have continued to roll in, but I am Dressed Up and Ready to Go! I am afraid to report that September is not looking hopeful either.

Past Masters Michael Lepper and Michael Hall, determined to ensure my dining proficiencies were up to par invited me to join them, their better halves and Assistant Emeritus Graham Withers for lunch alfresco in the idyllic setting of Henley-on-Thames on the 20th August. It was a real treat to be in their company, putting the world to rights and swopping livery news. A taster of things to come. ‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast…’

So, what has your Master been doing with her time? Well, encouraged by a delightful personalised writing portfolio wallet made for me in leather by Liveryman, Heather Dix, I put pen to paper and started writing! I felt that I was missing out on meeting my fellow Masters, our wonderful affiliates and of course our new members and sharing fellowship and news with them.

To my fellow Masters, I was proud to share with them the news of our Robing Ceremony, the retirement of Nigel and the appointment of Garth Manger, as well as sending them all our Best Wishes. The responses have been quite remarkable, including the news from the Master Mariner that his installation was surreal. He was installed virtually and did not set foot on board HQS Wellington.  He is a Captain! I was cheered by news of the resilience and ingenuity of our fellow livery companies, but there was sad news too; be in no doubt Covid-19 has impacted depressingly on us all. However, it was good to hear that those companies who use our Hall for dining, cannot wait to get back in.

Our military affiliates as you would expect have adapted to what they describe as a strange and challenging year, operating throughout at full capacity. I have been assured they have provided welfare support to their personnel and immediate families where needed and all appreciate their connection with our Company and our kind thoughts at this time.

We had a bumper year for new members and it was sorely disappointing that they were unable to experience the Robing Ceremony in person in our Hall. I assured them that there will be an occasion when our new Liverymen are ‘robed’ and our Freemen are given their certificates. I know at the first opportunity our members will go out of their way to introduce themselves to our new members and make them feel welcome.

Our new Clerk is settling in and unlike me is not in standby mode; he is primed and ready to go. As and when lockdown rules ease, he will ensure events return in a safe environment in our Hall. What becomes possible, he will make happen!

I continue to work on the initiatives mentioned in my Robing Speech. If you have volunteered to be an Eventer and/or a Charity Ambassador, I have your number and will be in touch. If you are still thinking about it, there is still time to join. Just email Ali.

There is a briefing on the Website and in the latest Newsletter about my Master’s Charity, the Children’s Society, including how to donate. The Clerk will be distributing information on a seminar to take place on ZOOM on the 3 September, 2020 at 6pm. The Speakers will be Donya Lamrhari, an Insight and Engagement Officer with the Children’s Society, who will tell us about the Society’s work in London and Paul Jackson, who has been my contact at the Society and the inspiration behind our partnership project.

The formation of a Young Livery Group is gradually taking shape. Please see the briefing in the Newsletter and on our website explaining the rationale for having such a Group. My message to potential members is stay with it. Have your say by completing the on-line survey. The results of that survey will determine how the Group will function. Give yourselves a vehicle through which you will have a voice and be listened to!

My Best Wishes. Stay well. Go Well.