Master's Blog - February 2018

From the Master Professor Gillian Davies DL

Welcome to my Master’s Blog on the new website of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. I will be using this page to report on a monthly basis to Liverymen on Livery events and also to draw attention to the upcoming programme of the Court and Company. Since the website has been under construction since mid-November 2017, this page covers events which took place in the past three months of 2017.

2017 Events

On 21 October 2017, I had the honour of being installed as the Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales at an Installation Court at Cardiff City Hall, along with the Senior Warden, Mr Geoff Hughes and the Junior Warden, Mr Peter Coleman. After the ceremony, the Wardens and I processed to St John the Baptist Church for the Installation Service where the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, did us the honour of giving the address. The Installation Banquet in the Assembly Rooms of the City Hall was attended by more than 100 Liverymen, friends and family as well as many guests of the Company.

At the Banquet, the Company’s Gold Award was presented to Dr Hywel Griffiths, a geographer from Aberystwyth University and the Merit Award was presented to Mr Stephen Thomas, a Para-Olympic athlete.

The welcome to the guests was given by the Junior Warden Mr Peter Coleman, and the reply on behalf of the guests was given in a highly thoughtful response by the Rt. Hon The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, QC, which was very supportive of the Livery Company’s work. Lord Thomas retired on 1 October 2017 as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Lord Thomas concluded by proposing the toast to the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. The text of Lord Thomas’ speech is available.

Gillian and Sian Rees

The first event of the Livery year was held at Howell’s School, Cardiff, on 20 November 2017. Mrs Sian Rees, former Inspector of Ancient Monuments at CADW, presented a fascinating paper on the work of CADW for the conservation of the heritage of Wales. In the run up to the Christmas holidays, two Carol Services took place: the advent Carol Service at St Asaph Cathedral on Sunday 3 December 2017 and the Annual Carol Concert and Supper held in St Germans Church, Cardiff on Friday 15 December 2017. I was happy to see that all three of these events were well attended and supported by Liverymen.

2018 Programme

During the course of 2018, the Company will be celebrating its Silver Jubilee Year. Founded in 1993, the Company was honoured to be presented with a Royal Charter of Incorporation by Her Majesty the Queen in 2013. The Silver Jubilee marks a new landmark in the Company’s history which will celebrated with a number of special celebratory and fund-raising events planned in addition to the Company’s usual annual programme. The highlight will be the Gala Concert given by Ensemble Cymru, followed by a reception in the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay in July 2018.

Jubilee events will also take place throughout Wales and in London, in cooperation with the Charity, North Wales and London Committees. My away weekend in May 2018 will be held at Portmeirion Village in Gwynedd, which I hope will be an exciting experience for those from other parts of the Principality, and there will be two fund-raising Garden Parties during the year, one in the South and one in the North.

Upcoming events

January 2018

Athenaeum, London

Thursday, 25 January – Event at the Athenaeum, London: Lecture “Sleeping with Books in Wales: Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden’ by Professor Michael Wheeler, followed by dinner.

Thursday, 22 February – Visit to the Museum of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Caernarfon Castle, followed by lunch at Plas Dinas, former home of the late Lord Snowdon.

Sunday, 18 March – Charity lunch at Atlantic College, St Donat’s.

The full calendar of events in 2018 can be viewed here.

May I take the opportunity to thank all Liverymen of the Company for doing me the honour of electing me Master for this Silver Jubilee year. I hope that as many as are able will support the Company’s programme of events during this Silver Jubilee year by actively participating in the programme.

Launch of the Silver Jubilee Fund-Raising Appeal

The Company will shortly be launching a Silver Jubilee fund-raising appeal to major companies, trusts and institutions in Wales which have an interest in education, inviting charitable donations and financial support with the aim of augmenting our Charitable Trust Fund by at least £100,000. At present, we receive applications for support from more young people than we are able to assist. Augmenting our funds will enable us in future to increase the number of Awards we are able to give annually. We will also be appealing to Liverymen to make personal efforts in their local communities to raise money for the Silver Jubilee Fund. For full details of this campaign, please click here.

Gillian Davies