Our Installation dinner is now traditionally held at Haberdashers’ Hall, and is the first event each year hosted by the new Master of our Company who has been elected and installed into this honour at the Court meeting that precedes the dinner.
This year we are delighted to welcome Eda Rose-Lawson as our new Master; only the second lady Master in our over 400 year history. Eda was previously our Upper Warden and we now also welcome Peter Simeons as our new Fourth Warden.
The dinner was a splendid affair, attended by 75 liverymen and their guests, who included Sir Christopher Pryke Bt. Master Tallow Chandler, H.H. Judge Giles Forrester, Upper Bailiff of the Weavers’Company, and Mr. Paul Ludwig, Master Waterman, as well as our principal speaker for the evening, Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, currently the Chair of Public Health-Wales, and Director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University. Sir Mansel, a long-standing friend of the Master, was accompanied by Lady Aylward.
After an excellent meal, our guests were welcomed most ably by Assistant Neil Edwards. We were then, both entertained and educated by the Master’s special guest. Following a couple of amusing anecdotes from their schooldays together, Sir Mansel spoke with great enthusiasm about his work on identifying the nature of well-being, and the determinants of happiness, and the very real business imperative for employers to invest in the physical and mental health of their employees. This was fascinating stuff and particularly the contention that whilst we all need a sufficiency, money alone cannot make you happy!
In concluding the formal part of the evening, our new Master gave her incoming address to the Company.
Fuller details of this will be included in “The Feltmaker”. It is, however, already clear that we shall have a lively year ahead of us. In keeping with the Master’s theme for her year, of Tradition, together with the skills of Restoration and Conservation, we shall celebrate Christmas with our Carol service at St. Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside on 12th December, with a full peal of the magnificent bells beforehand, and supper in the Crypt to follow. In support of her chosen charity, the Spinal Injuries Association, the Master’s charity event will be a fundraising day at Ascot, in early May. Already some significant sponsorship for the event has been promised, and we shall all hope for further strong support from both our Livery Company and from the world of racing.
Master, we welcome you most warmly, and wish you the happiest possible of years as you take up the challenge!