October 5th should have seen the Installation of the officers to their new roles. Curiously we seem to be in some sort of Goundhog Day – October 5th has come and gone and the Fuellers will retain their Royal Master and all the officers remain in place.However, for every cloud there’s a silver lining and Covid-19 has brought us a second year to focus our charitable efforts.
HRH the Earl of Wessex Gave a relaxed speech welcoming those present in 2D. He also explained the decision to extend role as Master, and that of the wardens by another year with a hope to completing his initials aims and to give the incoming master a good start in October 2021.
Our Master went on to thank James Cripps (for sewing the seeds for this format, Ian Beveridge for the IT skills to set the online event up, Carrie Marsh for her continued blog to boost morale, Paul Cuttill for all his efforts in Chairing GPC over the first fixed term of three years and announced John Ingham’s future appointment as the incoming Chair of GPC. He was also pleased to confirm that despite lock down and not being able to meet or hold events in person, six New Members have joined in that time.
Our Royal Master was delighted to also launch the Charitable Trust’s (CTF) campaign to support our six charity projects. These include:
- Music Scholarships for talented students at Platanos College, our adopted school (http://www.platanoscollege.com/) to cover tuition and an instrument
- Virtual STEM Days for year 9 students run by Smallpeice Trust (https://www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk/)
- Arkwright Scholarships to support talented students following STEM A – levels (https://www.arkwright.org.uk/)
- The City University MSc students prize https://www.city.ac.uk/about/schools/mathematics-computer-science-engineering/energy-msc-courses-at-city
- Workexperience support for A – level students provided by Generating Genius (https://generatinggenius.org.uk/)
- City of the Future events for primary age pupils (https://teentechcity.com/)
- Virtual Innovation Days at Home from Teentech (https://www.teentech.com/innovation-days-at-home/), which are particularly helpful to students entering the Teentech awards scheme (https://www.teentech.com/teentech-awards/) that Fueller members have judged for the past 3 years.
Our Royal Master is a great supporter of initiatives to support youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds and was persuaded, in part, to support us as our Master as a result of our activities in this space. Fuellers will soon receive more information about these projects and the opportunity to support them.
The Deputy Master, Averil MacDonald, also talked about the recent zoom events she has attended as the Livery Companies attempt to continue in various online ways. Averil also appealed to Members with local school interests to come forward as they may be able to work with the CTF to support them.
Our final speaker was Father of the Company, Edward Wilkinson who spoke amusingly about his time as Master of the Fuellers and its first military affiliation, HMS Daedalus, which was an RNAS training centre at Lee on Solent, now part of HMS Sultan. Edward shared a framed print of HMS Daedalus, recently acquired and held proudly aloft on screen. He also shred with us a sailing war ship from the 19 century and a book on the history.
His main recollection was a dinner to commemorate the standing down of HMS Daedalus in 1996. More moving was his reference to a WW2 battle success connected with HMS Daedalus. 48 Fairey Swordfish aircraft, armed with torpedoes from Malta, stopped 7 Italian warships at Taranto. “It was an amazing feat and amazingly only two Swordfish shot down in spite of all the AA guns. What I discovered from another account was that the wind had blown 60 barrage balloons away which was fortuitous! What was left of the Italian fleet moved to Naples which was regarded as a safer haven. They took little more action in WW2”.
After a wonderful speech, reminiscing, our Father of the Company, we adjourned to the virtual Piano Bar. The supposed closing time came and went – three times – each time a little notice appeared telling us the ‘bar’ will remain open for another 30 minutes. And we dutifully obliged by continuing our conversations.
While we couldn’t replicate the real Installation Dinner, a great time was had by all – including the new members (one dialling in from Afghanistan!).
Deputy Master, Averil MacDonald
Father of the Company, Edward Wilkinson
Senior Warden, Carrie Marsh
Comms Group Member, Michael Green