Friday, 13 September 2013

Modern Companies Autumn Dinner Thursday 12 September

The first 'modern' Livery Company was the Master Mariners, formed in 1926, and number 78 in numerical order of precedence.  Every Livery Company formed from then on falls into that category. The Worshipful Company of Marketors became number 90 in the City of London Roll of Livery Companies in 1978. Modern Companies Dinners have taken place twice a year, in the Spring and Autumn, since 2006 and it was the Marketors turn to host the dinner in Spring 2012.  As Senior Warden I had the privilege to be the host for this dinner owing to the Master's indisposition.  Since then the dinner has been hosted by the Actuaries and the Insurers. It was the Arbitrators turn this Autumn and the Engineers will host the dinner in the Spring of 2014.  Master Arbitrator, Karl Davies, was a splendid host, more so because he had invited Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE to be his guest speaker. As always, Fiona gave us a tremendous presentation on the state of the Country, the City and the economy. Sitting opposite the Master Furniture Maker, I was appreciative of the need for house prices to encourage movement in the market place, while sitting between the Master Solicitor and the Master Actuary!  I was encouraged to be in the company of Master Firefighter, Master Environmental Cleaner and Master International Banker, all fantastic and talented ladies, complementing our own, our very own Fiona. We were dining in Armourers Hall and the Guild of St George of the Armourers was instituted by an ordinance of the City of London in 1322 which laid down the regulations for the trade. King Henry VI awarded the first Royal Charter in 1543 and in 1708 Queen Anne presented the current Charter. This gave the Brasiers, workers in brass and copper who had long been involved with the Company, equal status with the Armourers. Since the industrial revolution in the 19th Century, the main focus of the Company has been charitable, concentrating primarily, but not exclusively, on supporting education and research in metallurgy and materials science. The Company has been on the site since 1346 and has a stunning display of armoury in the Hall.  Many of the Masters present that evening had been with me and David on our visit to Ironbridge with the Lord Mayor in June. Those eighty or so Masters have now formed a Past Masters group called the 'Great 13' and, as Marketor, I was tasked to create the logo! The Great 13 look forward to getting together in November when many of us will be past the Chair and others like myself will be getting towards the end of our year.  A great evening.

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