The Rule of Six leaves us at ‘Sixes and Sevens’

The Rule of Six leaves us at ‘Sixes and Sevens’

Philanthropy, Roadshows and the Power of Community
Our Autumn Livery Dinner on the 6th October, should have been the start of this livery year’s social programme. You will know from the Clerk’s Newsletters that unlike many, he remained at his desk throughout August, working with the CEO of Plaisterers Hall Ltd., PM Robert Dalrymple and our catering partners, preparing ‘back to work plans’ to achieve the ‘Good to Go’ certification from Visit England. That certification would have signalled safe dining in our Hall for socially distanced diners for up to 130 people.  An Autumn Dinner was on the cards, albeit for a reduced number of members.

The ‘Good to Go’ became, ‘Some to Go’, when the rules for some social gatherings were then capped at a maximum of 30 people. The Autumn Dinner got hurriedly changed to a Court Dinner, for members of the Court and the Stewards. No sooner had invitations been sent out and responded to, when the ‘Some to Go’ changed to ‘No Go’ with the introduction of the Rule of Six. So Fellow Plaisterers, it has not been for the want of trying that our Hall remains closed and yet again we have been denied the opportunity of meeting and dining in fellowship and brotherly love.

We are now working on some exciting ideas for virtual events to see us through this harrowing and traumatic year, with hopefully some Christmas cheer at the end of it. Also, we are planning a Master and Clerk’s Roadshow. Yes, we are going to hit the road and meet up with small groups of members in their own localities. We are looking for suitable venues, where we may meet up for a lunch or dinner, dining together safely in accordance with the Rules. If you have an oven ready venue and you would like us for company, then please contact the Clerk. He will be thrilled to hear from you.

A Catch Up/Information Evening for members is planned for the 29 October, (Zoom), when more information will be available. So please make a note of that date in your diaries.

During these difficult times, it has been an absolute tonic to see how our members have responded to my Call to Alms for my Master’s Charity, the Children’s Society.  The Livery Halls Walk on the 12 September has raised over £2,400 with donations still coming in. May I thank all those who sponsored me, the Clerk, the Renter Warden and our new Freemen. For me it was a treat to get out and for the Clerk to have some company. It can be quite a solitary experience working in the City these days. A new Freeman of the Company, Charmaine Etienne, wrote a delightful piece in the latest Newsletter. I heartily recommend it to you. It sums up the Walk perfectly.

Hot on the heels of the Halls Walk, I was contacted by Freeman Michael Shirley, a Pilot Officer RAFAC, in 282 Air Cadets (East Ham) Squadron. He was due to run in the London Marathon this year, but due to Covid-19, that had changed to a Virtual Marathon. He was planning to complete the 26.2 miles, by walking in his favourite City, yes London, joined at various planned stages by the staff and cadets, in a relay format to ensure compliance with Rule 6.

He explained he and 282 wanted to do this walk, in support of the Children’s Society’s Disruption of Exploitation programme in their Borough of Newham. Michael had been motivated by the Society’s presentation to the Plaisterers on the 3 September.

His target is to raise £2000. Then came the news that the Jack Petchey Foundation had agreed to meet donations made, to a maximum of £2000. At the time of writing this Blog, they were well on the way to achieving that target, made up of donations from the Plaisterers as well as the friends, families, work colleagues and staff of 282, plus pupils and staff of Kingsford Community School. A real community effort. The Power of Community. Plaisterers have been contributing either through Michael’s Fundraising Page, or by BACS/Cheque to the Plaisterers Charitable Trust.  It is still not too late to contribute.

Philanthropy, is an important part of livery life. Livery companies donate millions of pounds each year to deserving causes. In this pandemic year, those deserving causes have been in need of emergency funding. The Plaisterers Charitable Trust has received several such requests, but due to poor investment returns in this challenging year, it has not always been possible to help.

If you have not as yet set up a monthly or annual Banker’s Order for the Plaisterers Charitable Trust, or you have not reviewed an existing one for some time, I would implore you to consider doing so. Also check that the Banker’s Order you did set up some time ago has not expired. Do not forget the Gift Aid Form! Please email the Clerk’s Office for any forms you might need. I do appreciate that giving is not just about money. Your time and skills put to good causes are just as important.

So Fellow Plaisterers, remember the Roadshows and tell us of any oven ready venues in your localities. The Clerk would also like to hear from members who are still coming into London to work. It would be great to meet up socially in small groups after work. This will need to be self-funded, but I am sure we can fund the odd glass or two. Watch out for news on the Virtual Marathon and the physical and monetary achievements of Freeman, Michael Shirley and the 282 Walkers, on behalf of the Master’s Charity, The Children Society. This is an initiative that has inspired a community to come together and support.

Stay Well. Go Well.

Margaret Coates
The Master