Thursday, 15 March 2012

Modern Companies Dinner

Monday 12 March.

Modern Companies events are held twice a year for the Companies formed after 1926. The Master Mariners became the first new Company to be formed for over 200 years under the Guildry of the City, receiving their livery in 1932 and becoming 78th on the role of precedence. Since then a further thirty companies had received livery with others in a pipeline, either as current Company without Livery or a Guild.
The Worshipful Company of Marketors had long been scheduled to host this event in Spring 2012 and the organisation of the evening therefore fell to our learned Clerk, who undertook that duty with her customary skill and aplomb. On the night we were sadly without our Master, still in hospital recovering from his serious heart operation the previous week.  Under our Policies and Procedures, the Senior Warden is required to step up to the plate on such occasions and act as Deputy Master.  My first task was therefore to announce that I was standing in for the Master and to arrange with the Clerk for a Get Well Soon card to be circulated and signed by all present. The Middle Warden would be delivering this to the Master.
The Modern Companies certainly appear to be well in tune with one another – sharing many of the same problems in a meeting of minds.  The conversation between Masters and Senior Wardens present, without any partners and with only two Clerks present, certainly appeared lively and robust. There was a shared belief in the importance of Outreach and charitable contribution beyond the world of City business and an acknowledgement of the recent problems affecting the public reputation of the City.
In my speech given as host I welcomed all Masters and Wardens, particularly Sir John Stuttard well known to us as a former Lord Mayor. Nigel Pullman JP, a Shrieval candidate was also present at the dinner and the guest speaker was Richard Regan, a former Sheriff and the Chief Commoner.
Last night’s event took place at Watermen’s Hall, which dates back to 1780 and remains the only original eighteenth century Georgian Hall in the City of London, providing a very elegant setting for the dinner and one of the few venues regularly used by the Livery which is not a livery hall. The Company of Watermen was uniquely established by Act of Parliament in 1555 as a City Company to regulate Watermen and Wherrymen carrying passengers by boat under oars on the river Thames. They joined with the Lightermen carrying goods in 1700. 

The only missing thing from the evening was our Master’s presence and we wish him a rapid recovery to full health and strength.

Sally Muggeridge
Deputy Master 13th March 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment