Dear Fellow Lightmongers,
I would start this month’s blog by paying a personal tribute to Past Master Bill Wright who sadly passed away on the 20th May. I have known Bill for many years, a highly respected engineer and incredibly active in so many organisations. We joined the Court of the Lightmongers at the same time and would have followed each other as Master had I not stepped down to become CIBSE President. His boyish enthusiasm for anything technical was infectious and given the chance he was always the first to put his head into an engine room. He will be missed as both a friend and a colleague.
My Master’s month started with a bang, or rather a gallop as we supported the Lord Mayor’s charity race day at Ascot. Lightmongers made a good showing at the event but I’m afraid none of my methods of selecting a horse paid off and it was definitely the bookies who won that day.
I must say a thank you to the Mistress Lightmonger who apart from sporting a hat at Ascot has also been attending functions for Consorts during my year. This month we have been guests of the Worshipful Companies of Plumbers, Information Technologists and Chartered Accountants.
Our court meeting this month was for me a rather special occasion. Having attended my son’s Freedom Ceremony at Guildhall earlier this year I had the pleasure of clothing him with the Livery. At the same time we also welcomed 3 other Liverymen and 6 new members who all joined us for dinner afterwards. This Court Dinner has now become the annual occasion where we welcome our Educational Award winners and we were also joined by the Head Boys and Head Girls form our affiliated schools Mary Hare and New College Worcester. We also presented the award for the Best Student on the Brunel lighting pathway. This went to Rachel Martins who worked with me as an intern at Philips for a year.
I also attended a Charity dinner hosted by Alderman and Sheriff Peter Estlin at the Central Criminal Court in aid of the British Red Cross. This was preceded by a tour of the courtrooms and will hopefully be the only time I will sit the dock in the famous No1 Court.
One of the highlights of the Master’s year is the invite to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Hats and Medals of Office were the order of the day with many Masters gathering for lunch before moving off to the palace. It was a glorious sunny day, just perfect for wandering around the gardens and soaking up the atmosphere with the bands playing in the background. By 4pm we had taken our place by the steps leading to the palace as the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the royal family made their way into the garden. At the end of the afternoon we exited by the main entrance to curious tourists who must have wondered who we all were.
One of the charities we have supported for many years is the Jubilee Sailing Trust. Together with past master Eddie Taylor we had the chance to look over Lord Nelson when she was docked at Canary Wharf to swap crews. She had just come back from a round trip of Britain, changing crews every 4 days. It was interesting to see how the ship has special features for the disabled crew but also that they took part in all activities including steering and going up the rigging. Next year Nelson celebrates her 40th Anniversary. A worthy recipient of our charitable support.
As I mentioned in last month’s blog, on the 8th September I will be abseiling 200m down London’s Cheesegrater building in support of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. 100 abseils will be led by the Lord Mayor himself followed by 99 other supporters. I have met 2 other Masters who are also joining in and we collectively agreed that some training should take place before the day, but when!
My target is to raise £1000 towards the appeal and if every Lightmonger sponsored me for just £10 we would soon reach that target. Giving is easy by following the link below.
14th June – Annual Lightmongers’ Lecture, Tallow Chandler’s Hall – The theme of Illuminating London’s Bridges presented by the light artist Leo Vilareal from New York. Places still available to hear about the plans to re-light 15 bridges across the Thames.
19th June – I am to be jailed in the Tower of London. All donations to ensure I am bailed would be gratefully received and should be sent to the Clerk.
26th June – Election of Sheriffs – Guildhall – application info already distributed-LIVERYMEN ONLY
7th July – Tickets now available for our Summer Banquet at Mansion House. The Lord Mayor will be attending what is one of the highlights of our year. I hope to see many of you there
18th July – Four Liveries Lecture – application forms out soon.
29th September – Junior Warden’s Reception – save the date.
3rd November – Members Only Dinner – Tallow Chandlers’ Hall – save the date.