Let The Enjoyment Begin!
On Friday, October 5th., seventy-two liverymen and thirty-five guests gathered at the impressive Haberdashers’ Hall to attend the Installation Dinner hosted by our new Master, Anthony Phillips. The Master had been elected at the Court meeting preceding the dinner, and Jeremy Brassington had also been sworn in as our new Fourth Warden.
In the elegant and stylish setting of the Livery Hall an excellent dinner, accompanied by equally exquisite wines, was enjoyed by all.
Assistant Lt. Colonel Simon Wilkinson, TD, DL warmly, and in jocular mood, welcomed all guests. The principal guest was Sir John Baker CBE, Chairman of Renewable Energy Holdings plc. Sir John has combined a highly successful business career in both the public and private sectors with an active involvement in a variety of trusts and charities. He is currently Chair of the Trustees of the Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians. Also attending was Mrs Deborah Knight, the first lady Master Haberdasher and, most significantly, the first female Master in the history of the Great Twelve Livery Companies. Other guests included Mr Jolyon Tibbits, Upper Bailiff of the Weavers, Mr John Redmond, Master Waterman, and their respective Clerks.
Sir John Baker’s speech was entertaining and somewhat thought-provoking, drawing a parallel between the social, economic and political environments that existed at the time of the first reference to the Feltmakers in 1180 and those which prevail today. After alluding to several remarkable similarities between historic deeds in the U.K., Europe and the Middle East with events in modern times, Sir John sombrely concluded that London today mirrors the city of the past and that the problems which were insoluble then continue to pose key challenges.
In his response the Master thanked Sir John for proposing the toast to the Company, and the Court for his election, as well as Liverymen for their support. He stated that his theme for the year would be one of enjoyment – and participation, hopefully by all! He subsequently thanked the Master Haberdasher and expressed the hope that the close relationship between our two Livery Companies would continue and, after congratulating Assistant Simon Millar on becoming Chairman of the Livery Society and thanking Assistant Sarah McLeod and the Clerk for their invaluable contributions, he invited everyone to join him in a stirrup cup – a jolly end to a joyous evening.