In an historic first for the Company, the October Installation Court was conducted online. Against the virtual backdrop of the splendid Drapers Hall and in the company of more than 100 virtual attendees, Sue Algeo was installed as Master, taking over from Peter Alvey, Mary Hardy was installed as Senior Warden and Andrew Marsden as Junior Warden. Paul Benbow was admitted as Freeman Honoris Causa and Adrian Thomas as a new Court Assistant.
Pinning on their livery colours, Brian Ellis, John Hellinikakis and John Murphy were ‘clothed’ as Liverymen, while Nick Chatwin , Premvir Jain, Harry Lesser, Shalom Lloyd, Daniel Mayo, Alan Perkin and Amit Sharma were admitted as Freemen. Finally, Chad Barrett, Charlotte Wood were admitted as journeymen.
Addressing the Company, the new Master said that this had been seen as both the best of times and the worst of times and called for a brief pause to acknowledge those Members who had lost loved ones during the pandemic. She asked what the role of a Livery Company might be during this difficult period and, by way of answer, quoted Churchill, who said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.
She went on to explain why she thought that the theme for her year, Education, Development and Trade was hugely relevant during these challenging times and how the Company could make a valuable contribution in all these areas. Livery Companies are also about fellowship and she said that she was looking forward to enjoying many social events with members in the coming year, both online and hopefully in person.
The Master concluded by quoting the words the Queen used back in April (‘We will meet again’! ) and asked everyone to join in raising their glasses to the new Wardens, Court Assistant, Liverymen, Freemen and Journeymen, after which members of the Company and other guests enjoyed a convivial half hour in breakout rooms.
The Master’s speech may be read in full here.