Sunday, 16 October 2011
A New Master
It is always a fascinating experience to go to the Installation dinner of a Master of another Livery Company. On Friday Marianne and I were guests at the Installation Dinner of Mei Sim Lai the newly installed Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders at Drapers Hall.
Mei Sim had invited numerous guests particularly those from the Asia-Pacific Rim area. This is her own homeland heritage and so her guests at dinner were thus representative of Asia and Australasia and included those such as the Deputy High Commissioner of New Zealand; the Minister for Economic Affairs, Japanese Embassy; Ambassador, Republic of Indonesia; Ambassador, Republic of Vietnam, and more besides as well as some Masters from other Livery Companies. The toast for the guests was thus a formidable task but Alderman Neil Redcliffe rose to the challenge.I show here the crest of the Worshipful Company of World Traders for no reason other than it has a motto which I like. Difficult to read here but it says ''Commerce and honest friendship with all''. It is taken from Thomas Jefferson's inaugural Presidential address.
We were fortunate in sitting on the same table as the immediate Past Master whom I know well having shared most of his year with him. On my other side sat a youthful Danish lady who, ex-Oxbridge, Harvard and Yale, is a Professor at a West coast U.S. university. On enquiring what her Doctorate was in, and hence what she lectured on, she told me it was terrorism on which she is an acknowledged expert and author. It made for an interesting dinner table conversation.