You may say that my year as Master has not turned out quite as the Mistress and I envisaged – and you would not be wrong. But we are not alone. No one has had the year they were expecting last January as they drew up their New Year’s resolutions. However, despite the circumstances, there have been many positives at the heart of the company for which to be thankful.
The Clerk, the Assistant Clerk, the Wardens and I have pulled together and worked as a close-knit team in a way which has not only been enjoyable but, I hope, effective. So my sincere thanks to each of them for their excellent support throughout. The Chairmen of all of the committees have battled on – undaunted by adverse conditions, and they have done whatever they could to further their various aims. The Court has embraced new methods of communication – in many cases from the relative isolation of home, without the IT support afforded to those of us still in active employment. This has enabled members of the Court remotely to attend meetings patiently and with good grace while toying with their ‘mute’ buttons, wondering how and when to intervene without the assistance of body language.
As a Company, we have found new ways to have fun – I know some of these may not continue post-pandemic, but Zoom quiz nights and remote wine tastings hosted from abroad have been well organized and well attended; and they have enabled wider participation in a way that has produced many positive and exciting results.
Finally, may I thank all of you who have responded to our unique match-funded appeal for the Paviors’ Charity. The separate grant-making charitable trust of which I am a trustee is delighted to be supporting the Paviors with this appeal. If you are trustees of similar grant-making charities with wide objectives, I urge you to explore support for a similar initiative in the New Year. The work of the Paviors’ Charity and the London Construction Academy will be needed more than ever in post-pandemic Britain.
So as we head into the New Year, and hopefully calmer waters, with the blessed prospect of vaccination on the horizon, let us be thankful for all that we have managed to achieve in different ways to keep the good ship Pavior sailing along. And may I add a personal thank you from myself and the Mistress Pavior for all the kind messages we have received in recent weeks – they have been a demonstration, if one was needed, of the courtesy and decency which characterizes this ancient Company of ours. I hope all of you will have, in your different ways, Merry a Christmas as Boris will allow!
Hugh MacDougald, Master
And from the Clerk:
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas in this exceedingly strange year. I do hope that we will see you at Pavior events in the very near future!