I actually started my duties on 23rd September last year when I attended the 25 Anniversary Reunion and Colours presentation of The Princess of Wales’s Regiment in Canterbury. CO Colonel Andy Betts paraded using the Needlemakers Sword which is presented each year at our July Dinner.
Later in the year at the Regiments Carol Service in Canterbury Cathedral I witnessed the laying up of the Old Colours. Truly memorable to represent The Livery at these events.
Another special Occasion was the Choral Eucharist and Blessing of the Jubilee Vestments at Southwark Cathedral. You may recall that in 2015 There was a service to bless the Copes. The Needlemakers Livery provided the funds for the material to make the Copes and The Broderer’s Company funded the material for the Vestments. The Master Borderer was scheduled to be part of the Blessing in the event Our Chaplain, Bishop Christopher decided the Master Needlemaker should also be part of the ceremony. A real Privilege.
Recently I attended The Lord Mayors day at Treloars School together with the Masters of 50 Livery Companies. The School has 196 day and residential students aged 2 to 16 with varieties of disability, all use wheelchairs which are custom made. The event included a tour and we went into a Maths class and biscuit making class which was great fun. One bright young man asked if we knew the founder Sir William Treloars. The School was started by the then Lord Mayor Sir William Treloars in 1908!! The Head Girl on greeting the Lord Mayor asked what car he drove. After the response she added , Why do you not have a helicopter?. You will, hopefully, be aware of our contribution to the school and the fact that an anonymous donation is enabling us to look at SEMH (Social Emotional and Mental Health) Training for staff.
It was a privilege to welcome Emma Harrison the Development Manager of King Edwards School, Witley with two of their pupils at our January Lunch. Students Harry and Lucie have received music bursaries from our charitable fund enhanced by a donation from my discretionary charitable fund. The School was founded in 1553 as Bridewell Royal Hospital by Nicholas Ridley and King Edward V1 and has been supported by City Institutions since inception .
I have attended many functions representing The Needlemakers on your behalf but do not propose to list them here. Suffice it to say that it opens your eyes to ideas of best practice and also enables you to realise that there are many common challenges for the movement as a whole.
I trust that those of you attending the Banquet enjoyed the event as much as Tiz and I. It was a privilege to have The Lord Mayor and our guest speaker General The Lord Dannatt with us for the evening and I know they both enjoyed themselves. I also hope that you will consider joining Tiz and I in East Anglia in May.