Page 4 - July 2020
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  THE SALAMANDER | July 2020
From the Master
Frances Blois
I should be approaching my last month as Master, with Common Hall originally planned for July 3rd 2020. In the event, Coronavirus has kept most of the country in lockdown at home since March 23rd. Very sadly one of the first victims of this shut down was the Massey Shaw Dinner at Cutlers’ Hall on March 20th which was at near capacity, along with all other future events in the City.
March 9th was quite a day. I am an Honorary Steward at Westminster Abbey which held the Annual Commonwealth Service with Her Majesty the Queen and most of the senior members of the Royal Family. In the evening the International Bankers hosted the Modern Livery Company Dinner at the Vintners’ Hall. (Modern Livery Companies take their turn in hosting a dinner twice a year). At the Reception the Master said that most events, including the Buckingham Palace Garden Parties at the end of May, and other Summer events would be cancelled; we were all taken aback but with hindsight she was
absolutely correct. Friday 13th March was the last Company event, an Informal lunch at the Doctors!
Life since March 23rd, the start of my last three months, has certainly been different. I am now at home 24/7 (except for essential shopping and outside exercise). The new vocabulary and ways
The meeting of the WCoFF Emergency Strategic Co- Ordination Board (ESCB), proposed by the Upper Warden and agreed unanimously at the Court Meeting on March 6th , was put in place to conduct the running of the Company with everyone working from home. The ESCB meets weekly via GoToMeeting set
   of communicating are online via Teams, GoToMeeting and Zoom. WhatsApp is also another useful communication tool. It is amazing how much can be accomplished and how many hours are spent whilst deciphering other people’s libraries when on a video conference.
up by Liveryman Colin Simpson, with the Master, Wardens, Under Warden-in-Waiting, Clerk, Almoner and new Finance Manager among the regular attendees. My IT is performing well despite my occasional wobble with bandwidth, especially when the Prime Minister was in hospital.
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75th Anniversary of VE day 8th May 2020

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