I would like to dedicate my year to the memory of my late father-in law Norman Harding. It was at his suggestion I had the privilege of joining this Worshipful Company in 1975 with absolutely no idea that one day it would lead to being installed as Master. I am very conscious of the honour bestowed on me, and am firmly resolved to serve you, the Livery, to the best of my ability.
The ceremony at Common Hall is a well-upheld tradition and a moving experience for the incoming Master. For me this was especially so on two counts: firstly, in succeeding my father-in-law who was Master in 1983, and secondly in following Tim Fitzgerald-O’Connor who has completed such a highly successful year. How appropriate to be robed by Tim, a fellow insurance broker and Irishman, and of course to share with him and many of you the most enjoyable lunch which followed at Skinners’ Hall.
In the coming year we have arranged visits to the ‘Cheapside Hoard’ at the London Museum, the Bluebell Railway (steam trains), Henley Royal Regatta Course and the Leander Club, a weekend in the fair city of Dublin and a visit to the Goldsmith’s Hall. It is my ideal that there will be something to suit all tastes and pockets.
The two charities selected are the Rivertime Boat Trust (www.rivertimeboattrust.org.uk) and the Osteopathic Centre for Children (www.occ.uk.com). These are small organisations personally known to me, and I am confident that they are very efficiently and effectively run. Both are involved with children and young people who are disabled or ill, giving them experiences or treatments which would otherwise be beyond their financial reach. I very much hope to see as many of you as possible over the coming year at our formal and informal functions at which we can enjoy one another’s company.
Robin Hope, Master 2014/2015