Master Fueller’s Activity Report – November 2022

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So what has your Master and the Wardens’ been up to in November 2022?
You will see it has been a busy period and I am now 6 weeks into my role and as expected I have been active in both internally and around the City.
The main events this month have included a new Lord Mayor and the Remembrance events.
I continue to work with others on communications for your benefit. This will include the Fueller Communication Committee chaired by Michael Green who will be populating the social media communications; the Editor of The Fueller magazine, Lynn Postle; the Editor of E News, Louise Thompson and our Clerk Alex Maclean Bather.
I am happy for and would encourage any feedback on this e mail.

Thursday 3 November Lord Mayor’s Livery Coffee Morning

All Livery Masters were invited to have coffee with the Lord Mayor in the Long Parlour at Mansion House. This was the last one of four such events and it was very well attended with about 30 Masters. It lasted an hour and the agenda was sustainability, philanthropy and inclusion. A heavy agenda for a short time but it worked very well. Notes were taken of the discussion. It was a great opportunity to meet other Masters and to thank the Lord Mayor, Alderman Vincent Keaveny, before he hands over on 11 November.

Monday 7 November Opening of the Garden of Remembrance in St Pauls Churchyard, lunch and evening Service of Thanksgiving for the Lord Mayor

Masters from all the Livery Companies laid memorial crosses in the Livery Garden of Remembrance in the Churchyard of St Pauls Cathedral. A really moving open air event and service conducted by the Dean, the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett. The service was accompanied by the Band of the Scots Guards and choirs from the City of London Boys and Girls School. A real surprise was spotting Rod Stewart's model wife, Penny Lancaster, who was on duty as a part time volunteer Community Police Officer.
The rain held off mostly, and the Masters and their Clerks all had mingled for breakfast beforehand in St Paul’s Crypt and again afterwards over lunch at Plaistererers’ Hall.

Alex our Clerk and I then attended in the evening a Livery thanksgiving service and reception for the outgoing Lord Mayor held at St Stephens, Walbrook. This is an unusual circular style church designed by Wren in 1672 with a dome ceiling which was the prototype for the dome in St Pauls. It also has an unusual modern central alter by Henry Moore installed in 1978.

Tuesday 8 November the Ezra Memorial Lecture

The Fuellers annual Ezra memorial lecture had been postponed from 14 September following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11. It was rearranged in the magnificent Brewers Hall. This was the 17th such lecture and the speaker was Louise Kingham CBE FEI, Senior Vice President, Europe & Head of Country UK, bp plc.
We learnt how bp is developing into a multi-disciplined energy business and Louise handled very well a challenging Q&A session. I am very grateful for the sponsorship of this event by the Fuellers Charitable Trust Fund. I am also grateful to the immediate past Master Carrie Marsh, who hosted the evening as it had originally be scheduled during her year as Master.
Images of the evening can be viewed by clicking here.

Wednesday 9 November Communication Group meeting

I attended my first Communication Group meeting as the invited Master. This was held by Zoom and this group is now chaired by Michael Green. An interesting meeting with a keen and able group.

Friday 11 November Lord Mayors “Silent Ceremony”

I, my wife Jan, Junior Warden Elena Oderstone and her daughter Lillana attended the Silent Ceremony which was held at Guildhall and is an ancient and traditional ceremony for the change over to the new Lord Mayor. The room was packed with members from the Livery and the City who watched spell bound the carefully choreographed hand over from Vincent Keaveny to Nicolas Lyons. Not a word was said!

Saturday 12 November The Lord Mayor's Show

To celebrate the new Lord Mayor the Fuellers representatives walked in the Lord Mayor's Show as part of the Modern Companies float. We started the day early with refreshments at the Piccolo Bar on Gresham Street. The procession consisted of 133 floats and was an epic 3 miles long which started at 11am with me and the Junior Warden, Elena Oderstone walking in full robes with our banner carrier, Dave Marsh. This is now the 19th time that Dave has carried out his important role. Thank you Dave. We stopped for lunch in the sun at HQS Wellington and then the parade returned back by 3pm. The weather was outstanding and so were the crowds. A really joyful show for all.

Watching the show, with other Fuellers was my wife, Jan who hosted a lunch for a number of Fuellers, Alex our Clerk, friends and families all at Plaisterers’ Hall. This group included our daughter and her family and our son and his family. A children’s magic show and entertainment was provided. It was a very informal fun event and it was great to see my two granddaughters making new friends with other Masters grandchildren. A key part of Livery is family and fellowship - here it was in action.

Sunday 13 November Remembrance Sunday Services at St Paul's Cathedral and at the Merchant Navy Memorial

On Remembrance Sunday the Fuellers always need to be in two places at the same time. As Master I attended with our Clerk, Alex, in full robes, the City Service of Remembrance at St Paul's Cathedral with other Masters, The Lord Mayor, Military and City of London representatives. We then all paraded to the London Troops War Memorial outside the Royal Exchange to lay a wreath on behalf of all Livery Companies alongside many others. It concluded with a march past Mansion House including Veterans and the band of the HAC.

Our Junior Warden, Elena Oderstone, attended the Merchant Navy Memorial event in Trinity Square Gardens and laid a Fuellers wreath. It was a new experience to see our retired Clerk Commodore Bill Walworth in his uniform as an Elder Brethren of Trinity House at this event. These are always very moving ceremonies. They were joined by Commodore David Eagles, Head of the RFA (l) and Anastasia Oderstone (r). Afterwards they attended a Reception in Trinity House.
Our Junior Warden, Elena Oderstone, attended the Merchant Navy Memorial event in Trinity Square Gardensse and laid a Fuellers wreath. It was a new experience to see our retired Clerk Commodore Bill Walworth in his uniform as an Elder Brethren of Trinity House at this event. These are always very moving ceremonies. They were joined by Commodore David Eagles, Head of the RFA (l) and Anastasia Oderstone (r). Afterwards they all attended a reception in Trinity House.

Wednesday 16 November Invitation to Cutlers Autumn Livery Dinner

I was privileged to be invited by my friend, who is a past Master of The Worshipful Company of Cutlers, to their Autumn Livery Dinner at Cutlers Hall which is a select annual gathering. A beautiful Hall, great food and speeches. The Clerk told all 3 speakers they had to be funny; they were all amusing as instructed!

Wednesday 23 November 2023 Festival of St Cecilia, lunch, Lord Mayor’s address to the Livery and then The Shipwrights Masters’ and Clerks’ Dinner at Ironmongers’ Hall

A full day. I along with The Senior Warden, our Consorts and The Clerk attended the annual Festival of St Celilia, in the morning at Westminster Abbey. This is a celebration of music and raises funds for the Help Musicians charity. All the Livery Companies paraded in full robes and enjoyed the service, music, choirs and testimonials.
The Fuellers group then went for lunch at the nearby Cinnamon Club. Lots of spotting the politicians and journalists!
In the afternoon I and the Clerk then attended the Lord Mayor’s address to the Livery at Mansion House. We did meet up at this event with Past Master Shravan Joshi. This was the annual opportunity for the Lord Mayor to explain to the Livery the shape of his forthcoming year, with business and trade priorities, as well his Mayoral Theme and his work with the Livery. He then held a Q and A session followed by drinks in Mansion House. A major part of the Lord Mayor theme is financial services in the City and its global role. A really useful event.

In the evening I and The Clerk were guests of The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, Masters’ and Clerks’ dinner at the Ironmongers’ Hall. This was a large and special event to thank the Livery and to raise the profile of the Shipwrights. Entertainment between meal courses was provided by a magician and a mind reader, who fooled us all.

Thursday 24 November, Officers Zoom

I and the Senior and Junior Warden met on zoom for our regular monthly catch up. We covered a broad selection of subjects.

Monday 28 November, Zoom re Membership Committee

The three Officers and the Chair of GPC, John Ingham, met to discuss the Membership Committee. The topics covered included the Committee organisation, recruitment and retention.

Tuesday 29 November, Livery Climate Action Group Seminar

I attended the Livery Climate Action Group seminar on zoom on the subject of “responsible offsetting”. Almost 100 attended and the Fuellers were at the heart of it. Our own Honorary Liveryman, Alison Gowman, who chairs the Group and also chaired the zoom, our own Liveryman Gavin Towers was one of the speakers and past Master Avril Macdonald dealt with the Q and A session. In addition I noticed many Fuellers attended. The seminar covered in some detail the voluntary carbon reduction offset markets also explaining how these hope to be relatively temporary as a long term sustainable solutions will have to be found.

Wednesday 30 November, New Short Video Series launched and City University of London Lecture

I was very pleased to see the Fuellers new short video series launched today by the Junior Warden, Elena Oderstone. This can be viewed on YouTube and the first video is the Past Master, Shravan Joshi, talking about his life as a Fueller. A great watch, and more to come.
I attended the City University annual George Daniels (Horology) lecture in person (not zoom this one!) at City University with many other Livery members, academics, alumni, staff and students. The subject was “The Conservation of the Great Clock of Westminster, Big Ben”. It was given by Keith Scobie-Youngs who is a Court Renter Warden of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. He led the Big Ben conservation team and the work finished in 2020 and took 5 years. It involved dismantling the Victorian clock workings and fully renovating them and the Clock face at his Cumbrian workshops at a cost of around £80 million. A fascinating story.