Master Fueller’s Activity Report – March 2023

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So what has your Master and the Wardens’ been up to post Christmas and in February 2023? I also attach a list for your information of future events for all Members.

As you know I am working with others on communications for your benefit. This includes the Fueller Communication Group 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. I thank you for those who have commented so far.

Junior Warden Achievement

Before I start my report this month, I want to applaud the fantastic achievement in March by our Junior Warden, Elena Oderstone. She successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro reaching the 19,000 feet high peak on Saturday 11 March holding the Fuellers’ banner and raising £3,000 for City Harvest and Make-a-Wish. Very well done Elena and thankyou to everyone who supported her.

Tuesday 7 March, International Women’s Day event

I attended, with my wife Jan, an event to mark International Women’s Day at The Guildhall Club. The discussion panel included a number of Livery Company Masters and other leading figures from several organisations including Women in the Livery, The British Malaysian Society and the UK Business Women Association. The thought provoking theme was “Embrace Equity”. We learnt there is progress but still more to do.

Monday 13 March, I wrote to HRH Prince Edward

On behalf of all of us, I wrote to our Past Master, Prince Edward, to congratulate him on being conferred the title of Duke of Edinburgh on the occasion of his 59th birthday. We are honoured that he has been a member of our Livery since 2011 and as you all know was our Royal Master during 2019 – 2021.

Monday 13 March, Modern Livery Companies Dinner

The Senior Warden, James Cripps, and I, attended the six monthly dinner of the Modern Livery Companies. This was a dinner organised by the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars at Brewers Hall and the guest speaker was Her Honour Judge Wendy Joseph KC. Judge Wendy was called to the Bar in 1975 and when appointed to the Old Bailey in 2012 was the only women amongst sixteen judges. Her book “Unlawful Killings” has been a fantastic success.
Brewers Hall, like many, has been located on its site for hundreds of years and was destroyed in 1666 by the Great Fire of London and bombed in 1940. The current and third Hall was built in 1960. These Modern Company dinners are organised in turn by each Modern Livery Company, which are from precedence number 78 onwards, as you know the Fuellers is 95 and it currently goes to 110. Art Scholars are 110 so the next one will be organised by going back to the beginning i.e. number 78, the Master Mariners.

Tuesday 14 March, attended the Fuellers GPC meeting, followed by a visit to Number 1 Court at The Old Bailey

I attended in the afternoon with the Wardens the regular Fuellers GPC (General Purposes Committee) meeting at Carmen Hall and online. This covered a lot of useful ground and covered topics such as the finances, the Industry Conference, membership, communications etc.
Afterwards, Jan my consort and I found ourselves in the jury box at Number 1 Court at the Old Bailey. Before any wrong conclusions are drawn, this was to watch a charity event for The Sheriffs’ and Recorder's Fund. This fund supports ex-prisoners in re-entering the workforce. It is as usual a very enjoyable annual event of a series of sketches and music performed by Judges and Barristers over 4 nights called “Trial and Error”. This year’s theme was the “Jury” and took us through a number of real cases in music and sketches from 1670 up to the 1970s. A real treat and it raised funds for charity.

Thursday 16 March, lunch with the Master Carman

Jan and I had an informal and fun get together lunch with Master Carman, Andrew Turner and his Consort, Tania Turner, at a restaurant in Sloane Street. Our Company relationships are getting closer and closer and these social events really help to grow and develop it further.

Tuesday 21 March, Masters and Consorts 2016/17 Alumni dinner

Jan and I are both members of the Masters and Consorts alumni associations from the year Jan was Master Fueller in 2016/17. Tonight we attended the annual joint black tie dinner which was held at Innholders Hall. The guests of honour were our Presidents, past Lord Mayor Sir Andrew Parmley and Lady Parmley.   Like many Livery Halls, Innholders was totally destroyed by the 1666 Fire of London and the rebuilt Hall was badly damaged in 1941 and restored in 1947/52.

Wednesday 22 March, attended the Fuellers Charitable Trust Fund meeting

I attended by zoom the morning meeting of the Fuellers Charitable Trust Fund. The Master has a running invitation to attend these meetings. It is very interesting and useful to understand our charitable work, which is such an important part of being a Liveryman and Freeman of the City of London.

Thursday 23 March, Lord Mayor's Masters Banquet

All the Masters and Consorts are invited to Mansion House for the annual Lord Mayor’s Masters with Consorts banquet at Mansion House. This is a white tie event and is regarded by many as “the blue ribbon” event of any Livery year. Mansion House was packed with over 350 attendees with speeches from the Lord Mayor and Masters of two of the “great twelve” Livery Companies. A special feature of the evening was the attendance of the Lord Mayor’s Bodyguard provided by the Pikemen and Musketeers of the Honourable Artillery Company.
Mansion House is the residence of the Lord Mayor and has been since 1752 with the Egyptian Hall being most impressive.

Friday 24 March, United Guilds Service followed by lunch

The following morning was the annual United Guilds service, held at St Pauls, Jan and I attended along with the Clerk, Alex and the Junior Warden, Elena with a number of Fueller members. This is one of the few occasions where all the Livery Companies and Guilds gather together. The robes made a spectacular splash of colour under the beautiful dome of St Pauls. The event's origins are relatively recent and were started in 1943 in response to the Blitz as a reminder of the religious origins of the Guilds.
Afterwards our Fuellers group joined some other Companies for lunch at the nearby Pewterers Hall. Master Pewterer, HH Wendy Joseph KC, who I had heard speak earlier in the week at the Modern Livery Companies dinner on 13 March, hosted the event and gave a little plug for her book which has now entered the Sunday Times Bestsellers list. I had the pleasure of sitting next to her.