This year is going very fast. We remember the outbreak of the Great War, and the awful consequences that followed. As Master one is invited to many lectures by other Livery Companies so, with an interest in history, I have attended as many as possible. The most recent, by the City Corporation, was entitled ‘London from Peace to War’ by the well known military historian, Professor Jeremy Black. A Commemoration Service for Volunteers held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea poignantly marked the outbreak of war and was attended by the Queen, Prince Philip, other members of the Royal family and a member of the Hohenzollern family. I have also twice had the honour of attending the granting of Royal Charters: the first to the Honourable Company of Air Pilots by Prince Philip at a Dinner in Guildhall, and the second by Prince Charles to the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers at that lovely old church St. Bartholomew the Great; and at a small reception after the latter our Master’s badge caught Prince Charles’ eye and a short chat followed.
Our involvement with the Royal School of Needlework, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Ballet School reveals how our support for students attending such fine institutions of learning is working. We are strongly on the right lines in our charitable support to all of them. Two notable firsts for our livery are the Choristership grant for Oscar Pavey at St.Paul’s Choir School, and two lady Liverymen joining the Court at our October Court Meeting: the first ladies to join the Court in our 321 year history and how welcome they are. The Annual National Service for Seafarers at St. Paul’s had a joint special commemoration this year as the 500th Anniversary of the Corporation of Trinity House and the Company of Waterman and Lightermen of the River Thames were celebrated. The Princess Royal read a lesson and spoke most eloquently about our maritime history at the Guildhall Reception. For any liveryman of this Company I would recommend giving yourself the chance to be Master - it is one of the great experiences of a lifetime.
Robin Hope, Master 2014/2015