Page 3 - November 2021
P. 3

From the Editor
Robert Farquhar
The broad theme for this edition of the Salamander is “Re- Start”. The December 2020 edition was one of looking with hope to the future (folowing a hard year with Covid isues), with some optimism that we could get back to a more normal life as the vaccination programme was about to begin then within a few months. Nevertheless, since then, it has still been 10 months of real toil and anguish for many as various lock-downs prevailed. We were hopeful that the road map would take us to freedom day by the end of June, but even that was delayed until July 19th. Over the last few month however, we have seen some optimism to a “re-start”.
Over the last 18 months or so, normal Company activity has esentially been on “pause” despite all the very good on-line activities. Common Hall on the 2nd July hopefully marks a “new start” for the WCoFF. We have the transfer from Master to new Master and also welcome new
office bearers of the Company.
Past Master Frances Blois has reflected on her extraordinary 2 year stint at the helm in this issue. She talks about becoming a zoom and a GoToMeeting expert but thrilled that at least the carol service had the ability to meet others. She notes how Livery Company lectures and talks on-line helped communication with other livery companies and, more recently, she enjoyed an informal lunch and a suitably distanced service of reflection and hope for the City at St Paul’s.
Our new Master, Graham Maltby, sets out the tasks ahead for the Company in the coming year. Throughout the pandemic period, he has chaired the ESCB which has carefully guided the Company throughout this period. We now move to a new Company Business and Social Engagement model to build up to the resumption of normal committees, management board and court activity. Graham explains how this will all work. He also pays tribute to the work done by the Honorary Almoner Peter Cowland and reflects on the sad loss of key colleagues and members during the pandemic period.
Graham also reports on the work of the Charitable Trust throughout the period, activity severely curtailed in respect of normal income and grant activity. Nevertheless, the on- line fire lecture helped donations and several grant awards were made, including one for an
innovative project at the new London Fire Brigade museum.
The issue includes an excellent paper by Past Master Bruce Hoad on “Women in the Fire Service”, a welcome to new members who have joined in this period and, we hope, a helpful list of all our members. There are, alas, also obituaries to two of our members who have passed away in the last year, namely Frank Somerville and Paul Fuller.
There are also articles on the Lord Mayor visit to Dowgate Fire Station and the efforts made by Past Master Alan Wells to raise money for the Kent Blind Association and that of a Hertfordhire Firefighter to raise money for Dementia UK.
We also have some summary reports on the on-line lectures given by members which we have all enjoyed over the year. A particular highlight here was the Fire lecture, given by Past Master Sir Ken Knight, ably assisted by Court Assistant Peter Holland where over 300 registered attendees from all over the world learned the detail and insight of the investigations of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Finally, there is a chance to buy some wonderful sweaters and jackets to refresh your wardrobes, ready for the re- start and you will also note that the golf team have re-started their efforts representing the Firefighters against other livery companies with a good result.
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