Page 3 - July 2019
P. 3

From the Master
Andrew Mayes J.P.
Where has the year gone? As I sit here today, there are just three weeks to go before Common Hall when I have the pleasure to Install our Master Elect, Frances Blois. The New Year started with an invitation to a service at St Michael Cornhill, followed by a reception at the Drapers’ Hall. The sermon was given by the world-famous Belgium detective Hercule Poirot (actor David Suchet), who afterwards mingled amongst the guests. Knowing that he is a firm favourite of mine, my family wondered whether I would wash my hand after he shook it.
The “legal” theme continued when I had lunch with Sheriff, the Hon. Elizabeth Green and the judges sitting on the day at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, all of whom made me most welcome. For many years, our livery dinner has been held outside of the City at the East India Club by kind invitation of Past Master David Cartwright. Having moved to our new home at the Wax Chandlers’ Hall, it was decided to hold our dinner in their Great Hall. It proved an enjoyable and successful evening, which hopefully will be repeated over coming years. Although the year is filled with very enjoyable events, it is often the more solemn ones that remain in one’s
thoughts. In February, I attended an Anglo-French reception in the presence of veterans of the Normandy Campaign to introduce “The British Normandy Memorial” at the National Army Museum. Having the opportunity to spend time with the veterans brought to focusthesacrificesthatweremade by so many. This came vividly back to mind as I watched the recent 75- year Remembrance Services.
In February 2019, I attended a lecture hosted by the Worshipful Company of World Traders at the Guildhall. The speaker was Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. In response to a question, she said that her major function at the IMF was as architect and monitor of international banking although, as a result of the financial crash in 2007-2008, she felt more like a “Firefighter”. It appears our influence is spreading! March saw me representing the Company at the Inter-Livery Pancake Masters’ race. Under Warden in Waiting, Nicole Hoffmann, ran in the Ladies race, Court Assistant Andrew Phillips in the Liveryman’s race and, completing our team, Past Master Bruce Hoad in the Fancy Dress race. Seeing Bruce running around Guildhall dressed as a 19th Century firefighter, complete with metal studded boots and brass helmet with blue flashing light was a sight to be seen.
At end of March, I had the pleasure to host members and guests at our Massey Shaw banquet at the Cutlers’ Hall. We were honoured with the presence of a former Lord Mayor Alderman Sir David Wootton as principal guest and speaker. During the evening I was able to formally mark our affiliation with HMS Wildfire and, along with Frances Blois, I was able to present prizes to the three individuals who had been recognised for their
outstanding work in the field of fire safety. I would also wish to record my gratitude to Liveryman Dr. David Crowder for his hard work in the judging process.
In April, the Company once again held its Annual Fire Lecture. The lecture was chaired by Jonathan O’Neill, Managing Director of the FPA who introduced our two informative speakers, Mr Jim Pauley, President & CEO of the NFPA and Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher. The event was most thought provoking. It would not have taken place without the incredible hard work of Court Assistant Peter Holland and the support of our main sponsors Aviva and Rockwool Limited.
At the end of May, my wife Carol and I attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Although the weather could have been kinder, it did not dampen our enjoyment. Early in June, Carol and I joined the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs and over 100 Masters at a Livery Companies event in Ironbridge. Hopefully this event will cement the friendships I have made during my year. I now find myself appointed as the Hon Treasurer of my Past Master Group. It will at least give me the chance to keep in contact with everyone.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many for their help, support, company and friendship. It has been a year I will never forget and I thank everyone in the Worshipful Company of Firefighters who allowed me to experience this “life changing” year.
You can be assured I will continue to work for the benefit of the Company which I will do in a spirit of Service, Fellowship, Harmony and Honour.
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Andrew Mayes JP Master.
Worshipful Company of Firefighters

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