Page 4 - October 2022
P. 4

From The Master
Stephen Sanders
I write as Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters and thank you all for your help and support that has allowed me to reach this privileged position. Invitations to numerous events have already been received ranging from a ball at the Guildhall to cadet manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain. Maxine and I are looking forward to representing the Company at as many events as possible over the next year.
As Steven Tamcken departs, I will take this opportunity to thank the Past Master for all his work over the last year and representing the Company at so many prestigious events. In the updating and revision of Company procedures has allowed a more streamlined approach to the way we work.
I welcome our new clerk Andy Bignold and wish him well for the future in his role which is so vital to ensure that the Company is run in a competent and professional manner. I also welcome our new
Court Assistants and Sentinels that are so important in the work of the Company.
A number of senior members, perhaps feeling their age, are stepping down from roles within the Company. There are also several members who have health or family issues at this time. My thoughts are with them and their families and I will do my very best to ensure that they continue to enjoy the support that the Company offers.
It is pleasing to see many newer members taking an active role both at committee meetings and at social events. Recruitment continues and several interviews have recently taken place with more being arranged. A stand at the FireX International exhibition resulted in several contacts and expressions of interest. I thank the Company members who attended over the three days and represented the Company in such a professional manner. Applications are now being received from overseas and the latest applicant is currently based in New Zealand.
There appears to have been many false dawns as we have come out of Covid 19 restrictions only to see cases rising again with few if any controls in place. The decision to leave the European Union has resulted in unforeseen problems in many areas of work and indeed our own ability to travel abroad. Ukraine has suffered in a way that most of us have never seen in our lifetime and the knock-on effects are only now starting to affect us all. In train strikes and other industrial action make travelling uncertain and now threaten some
of our social and official events. As Master I am keen to uphold the traditions of the Company and the City of London. Unfortunately these traditions come at an ever increasing price as livery halls and catering companies seek to recoup lost income due to Covid 19. The Company must be mindful of the financial situation facing so many and adapt as required. As an example following Common Hall, lunch in a private function room at the Old Doctor Butlers was enjoyed by over forty people. The cost of this lunch was one third of the price quoted by the cheapest livery hall.
I do however ask all of our Company members to support the formal events if at all possible. Currently arrangements are being made for St Florian’s Banquet on 18 November and a special event on 13 June 2023 to celebrate the 35thAnniversaryoftheWorshipful Company of Firefighters.
Of some concern is that our lease at the Wax Chandlers’ Hall is up for renewal in the near future. A small team are looking at the various options available and will prepare a report for Court.
I look forward to meeting as many Company members as possible at our formal dinners and social events during my year as Master.
Finally If I were to have a theme for my year as Master it would be to move ahead but remember where we have come from, there must be a balance between new ways of working and our traditions.
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