24 March 2016

This is the first blog from the recently installed Master, Ian Lumsden. ​

Dear all

Well, I said that I would continue the Master’s blogs started by my predecessor Terry Last and, after only two weeks in the ‘chair’, there is so much to tell that I am glad I agreed to do so. Before launching off and telling you all that’s been going, let me say a few words directed to our Past Master. Firstly, Terry, thanks for a terrific year and to you and Caroline for helping Tessa and me begin our journey towards the Installation some months back. We look forward to your advice and help moving forward, as indeed we do from any of the previous Masters and ladies. In his last blog (a sad note!), Terry wondered if he would be contributing any more blogs on things to do with the Livery and I for one hope he does.

So here I am on a Sunday, just over two weeks after the wonderful occasion of my Installation and with the memory of that evening is still firmly fixed in my mind. It was great to see so many of you there and we do hope you enjoyed the service and ceremony. The choices we made on hymns and readings, with the ever present assistance and advice from Chaplain Hugh, seemed to make the occasion go with a happy and involved feeling. It was especially wonderful for us to have all five of my children at the service and for a while at Stationers (see attached photograph), along with quite a few more of the clan to enjoy the evening and the coach ride home (or was that a product of the very good wine aboard the coach?). We eventually arrived back at home at 2.30 am!

There was a short period of a few days quiet to lull the new Master in to a false sense of things to come, and then the next week dawned. This started with a white-tie dinner at Mansion House with the Plumbers Company at their Annual Banquet and, even though we are used to this event as Paviors, to be a guest (as a Master) makes it all very different and even more special in a certain way. There were the usual trumpeters, but with a twist that we will try, and some good speeches. The event was a real eye-opener to a new Master on the ‘circuit’ he has just joined. Meeting eight other masters that evening and realising that the way to get involved is to get out there and say ‘hello’ to anyone and almost everyone you meet.

Staying overnight in one of the guest rooms at Charterhouse allowed some face-to-face time with the clerk in the morning, before returning to reality and heading off for the day’s toil. A meeting with the Chief Executive at Moor Park Golf Club to finalise the initial arrangements for our charity golf day on the 19th July took place on Wednesday evening, and then both I and the Mistress Tessa headed off for another white-tie dinner at Mansion House, this one as a guest of the Lord Mayor, where I joined with all the other Masters of what will become my year. Clearly with the ‘owner’ hosting the event, there were even more pomp and special twists to the evening with fanfares announcing each speaker and a wonderful varied selection of stewards in formal city attire. We had a splendid evening and again met many more Masters of other companies. We were also fortunate enough to be seated with the next Lord Mayor, Dr Andrew Parmley, and his consort. He will take office in November, assuming all goes to plan.

Our car delivered us home after midnight and were on the way in to London again the next morning by 8.00am, together with the Mistress looking rather special in hat and a wonderful dress to attend the United Guilds Service (see attached photograph), where I had the extra special opportunity to be included as one of the 12 invited Masters to join the procession along with the ‘Great Twelve’ Masters to precede the Lord Mayor and his quite long entourage. I was very fortunate to be a Paviors’ Master having this honour, and it was a very special moment. As always, the service was a wonderful event. It was followed by a very well-attended lunch at Cutlers’ Hall and, as their Master Janek remarked, ‘it was wonderful to see past Masters from previous years renewing the strong relationship with others from the two livery companies’. It is a lovely event and I urge you all to consider attending both the service and the luncheon if you possibly can.

We then had a weekend off (apart from the constant game we now play of matching diaries and sorting out the logistics the Mistress deals with in relation to our two younger schoolchildren!), before we were both again dressed in our finery (white tie for me and gown for the Mistress) to attend, with our learned Clerk and his wonderful partner Penny, the Carpenters’ Ladies Dinner at the Carpenters’ Hall. I must say that the Carpenters really know how to make a Master feel special and we had a wonderful time with the Company and all the interesting people we met that evening. They also had a fantastic musical interlude, but those details I am keeping to myself whilst I try and convince our Clerk that it would be something you would all love. One of the interesting things we found out that evening is that, although we were looking forward to an evening chatting to the Clerk and Penny, in fact after the entrance doors of Carpenters’ Hall had been passed through, we did not meet again until we found ourselves both leaving just before 11 pm.

The next day I attended the 6th Annual Security Lecture held at the RAF Club by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals. The lecture was given by a Hagai Segal and certainly gave everyone in the audience a huge amount to think about in connection with geopolitics and the various factions raging war and terrorism across the world. The drinks afterwards again gave me a good opportunity to meet up with another set of Masters (there was over 40 Masters attending – something we perhaps should consider with our invitation list for our excellent annual lecture).

So that’s the start of my year, and a busy but really enjoyable first two weeks it has been to provide an ideal start to the blogs for this year. Behind the scenes, the Mistress and I continue plans for our Jolly in May, the Charity Golf Day in July, and a few other events that will be publicised shortly in line with our ‘family’ theme. Of course we have just obtained a booking for the Charity Ball in January 2017 at Guildhall (Saturday 28th), so we are starting to work on that together with the Upper Warden and Clerk.

I look forward to staying in contact with you all and hope that you will let me know how the blogs are working (or not) and keep in touch through my year.

Ian Lumsden ​