Master’s Christmas Message 2021

From the Master

The Master wishes us all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in his personal message.

Since my installation in October Kala and I have enjoyed a variety of live events meeting others in person including invitations from other livery companies, the event at the Foundling Museum, the Company’s carol concert and the Brigantes winter carol concert in Chester. My diary looks full for the early months of 2022 and I feel the wind in my sails or should I say the hot water flowing through my central heating system

However whilst In early December I felt that there was a good measure of optimism in the air with the prospect of greater freedom socialising, association and togetherness this has now been knocked off course by the rise of the new Omicron variant. In writing this message I remain optimistic that Christmas 2021 will be better than Christmas 2020, but the situation can change rapidly and prospects for January are uncertain. I strongly recommend that you get your booster and take all precautions to avoid the dreadful lurgy

I do hope that in any event you, your family and your friends have a joyous Christmas filled with love, laughter, kindness and giving. I hope that you get that welcome Christmas present you have always wanted and that the present you give is retained and not returned. I hope that you enjoy the Christmas Turkey and demonstrate your skills at the Christmas quiz or the Christmas games.

One of my main jobs on Christmas day is to set fire to the Christmas pudding at the lunch table in front of my adoring and respectful family. The key is to use fresh brandy which retains a good measure of alcohol and then warm it to the right temperature. After many years and some damage to various Christmas decorations I consider myself an expert. No one has been harmed in the process.

Not everyone has a family or the financial means to celebrate Christmas. One in five children in the UK will spend this Christmas in poverty. We should all help where we can. I hope that you have the opportunity to demonstrate kindness to someone in need over the Christmas period. This can bring so much joy to the person you are kind to and to yourself.

The period running up to New Year’s Day is for me a time for reflection on what I have achieved and enjoyed in the year finishing and what I can achieve and enjoy in the New Year. There is no doubt that 2021 has been a challenging year and we should not forget our colleagues who passed away. Some Shining sunbeams came through the clouds from our immediate past master. He led the organisation of the Jools Holland concert in conjunction with the Fishmongers raising the funds required to replace the roof at St Magnus and provided a very enjoyable midweek break in St Mawes. I am delighted to be in the position to seek to follow in Peter’s footsteps in my year as master very much supported by the positive spirit of friendship and fellowship in the company. Thanks to everyone for this.

What can we look forward to in 2022? I am currently putting the final touches to the Caribbean Carnival Evening so that you can all enjoy a little more sunshine in the middle of February. My able team of stewards led by Damon Reynolds are supporting me in organising the social programme for the remainder of my year including the Persian banquet, the trip down the river and the visit to Wisley. This all ends with a crescendo, My master’s weekend at Hever Castle which will now include an excellent visit to Squerryes vineyards and Squerryes Court in Westerham for a wine tasting and lunch. Watch this space!

In conclusion I would like to thank our expert clerk Adrian, Sharon, Debbie and Peter for their sterling work in keeping me on the straight and narrow as this year progresses. Have a wonderful Christmas. I look forward to seeing you in 2022