Against the gilded backdrop of Goldsmiths’ Hall, ‘We will meet again!’ became ‘Welcome Back!’ and the Company celebrated the installation of Mary Hardy as Master, who succeeded Immediate Past Master Sue Algeo.
During Ceremonial Court Michael Shapiro was installed as Senior Warden, alongside Michael Larsen as Junior Warden and Richard Algeo as Honorary Freeman. The Company clothed David Glasspool as a Liveryman and admitted Simon Pryke, Anders Weide, Wil White and Alberto Xodo as Freemen and Oliver Ramsay Gray as a Journeyman.
The candle-lit Installation Dinner which followed had a strong maritime theme, the Company and distinguished guests were received by a carpet party from the Chiswick Sea Cadets by kind permission of Commanding Officer SLt Chris Horton. Music from Fever Pitch punctuated the evening, with songs ranging from ‘Money, Money, Money’ to ‘Drunken Sailor’.
The Company was delighted to welcome our principal guest and speaker Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB ADC First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. In his speech, Admiral Sir Tony thanked Master Hardy for her council to the Navy Board and highlighted the Royal Navy’s indispensable role in world trade.
Admiral Sir Tony stated that the Navy is not a contingency, it actively serves to boost trade and prosperity in times where the Evergiven’s blockage of the Suez Canal and piracy reiterate the fundamental link between trade, security, and maritime transport. The Admiral noted that ‘the navy follows trade and trade follows the navy’ and cited HMS Queen Elizabeth’s role in the indo-pacific as a bastion of soft power. The ship has visited over 70 ports and has hosted numerous trade delegations, which has resulted in free trade agreements in excess of £750M. The Company wishes Admiral Sir Tony Radakin well in his new role as Chief of the Defence Staff, as Britain looks to consolidate its position as the foremost naval power in Europe.
As is customary, the Master’s inaugural address outlined the theme of her year, ‘World Trade – Past, Present and future’. The Master will continue the Company’s agenda on climate change, as the topic continues to shape world trade. Events in the coming year will be held both live and online to help members participate and stay connected. Master Hardy highlighted her aim to strengthen ties with world trade associations and provide training on world trade to younger members through the committees on Trade, Education and Armed Forces, and Professional Development. The Master ended her address with a call to re-establish fellowship, which had been strained due to the pandemic.
A copy of the Master’s speech can be found linked here.
A copy of the Senior Warden’s speech can be found linked here.