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Master's Blog - october 2019

I have been very privileged to have been Master of The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales 2018-19 and to be able to report on what I believe to have been a most successful year both personally and for the Company.

It has been an interesting year for a Master from a management perspective, with two Treasurers, two Clerks, two Chaplains, two Chairmen of the Charity Committee and two Chairmen of the PR Committee during my term of office.
This might give the impression of disruption and instability, but the business of the Company has been remarkably smooth. I wish to express my gratitude to those who have served the Company in those capacities in the past and to those who have taken up the baton for the future.

Awards Committee
The Awards programme has again been successful, carrying out our objects of encouraging and supporting the Arts, Sciences and Technology, mainly through the medium of education. I never cease to be amazed at the quality of award winners we support and have done for many years.
The Awards Dinner has now become an integral part of our programme as, indeed, it should. I would encourage Liverymen to give it their full support as it is an excellent opportunity to see and hear about how beneficial our Awards can be to the young people of Wales.

Silver Jubilee
The Silver Jubilee, initiated by Deputy Master Gillian Davies, has continued to grow and stands around the £70,000 mark. It will be, and already is, used to develop new projects thus increasing and enhancing our ability to support our Awards programme.

PR Committee
The PR Committee has raised the profile of our Company in the eyes of the public through quality articles and interviews in the media, notably the Western Mail. Additionally, a revitalised Livery Bulletin has resulted in a quality product informing Liverymen of news and events in the Company. It is a publication of which we can be justifiably proud.

Charity Committee
This Committee continues to contribute to fundraising for the Trust and, thereby, our Awards programme.
This year the Committee took over responsibility for organising the Awards Dinner at Howell’s School and has plans for fundraising events in the coming year.

Membership
During the current financial year and second half of my term as Master the Treasurer and Clerk have worked hard to co-ordinate and reconcile the records of paid up members. This excellent work has established that we had 150 paid up members as at the end of August despite being only halfway through the year. At this rate we will have the highest membership for some years.

Finance
After several years of serious concerns about the state of Company finances including gloomy forecasts of bankruptcy, I am pleased to say that there is more stability in addressing these issues.

I have said on numerous occasions that the formula for correcting the position is to increase income and reduce expenditure.

Both of these have been positively addressed to the extent that increased membership and efficient collection of quarterage, including overdue back payments, during the current membership year means that quarterage income will be the highest in recent years.

Similarly, working to a tight budget and reduced costs means that expenditure has been reduced.

I remain confident that at Common Hall next year we will be talking about being “in the black” rather than “in the red”.

Events
I have attended over 100 Livery related meetings or events during the year, as may be seen in my attached Diary. At many of these I have represented and promoted our Company so that we become better known in the wider Livery movement.

Domestically, we have had a very enjoyable and varied programme including the Master’s weekend to Bruges where the Officers laid a poppy wreath at Menin Gate and I was honoured to be asked to read the exhortation. It was also a privilege to be invited to a Reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate 50 years since HRH Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales

I and my Consort have been invited to many events in London which has given the opportunity to speak with other interested parties about The Livery Company of Wales which, again, will raise our profile. Thank you to those Liverymen who have invited Sue and me as guests to their own London Livery events

The Clerk has recently written to all London Livery Companies to try to interest any Liverymen with Welsh connections to consider joining us.

I wish to pass on my thanks to the Wardens, Deputy Master, Clerks, Treasurers, Assistant Clerk, Chairmen of Committees and all those Liverymen, of whom there have been many, who have supported me throughout the year.

Finally, I take the opportunity to thank my wife and Consort, Sue, for her help and support in what has been a very busy but most enjoyable and productive year in the service of The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales

MASTER’S DIARY 2018-19

OCTOBER 2018
18th Licensing of Priest in Charge Rev. Sarah Jones (now Livery Chaplain) at St John’s Church, Cardiff
20th Installation Court, Church Service and Banquet
Guest Speaker Sir Gary Hickinbottom (Company event)
22nd Guest of Master of Worshipful Company of Arbitrators at Middle Temple

NOVEMBER 2018
1st Private Dinner with The Lord Mayor of London (Charles
Bowman) for Regional Livery Masters at The Mansion House
6th Installed as Freeman of Worshipful Company of Haberdashers’
11th Attended Remembrance Parades at Cardiff Cathays Park and Usk
13th Silver Jubilee and GPC Meetings
16th London Group Dinner (Army and Navy Club) (Company event)
19th Awards Meeting
22nd Dinner with The Lord Mayor of London (Cardiff)
25th Sunday Lunch at The Clink Cardiff (Company Event)
27th Trustee and Court Meetings
30th Presentation of Award at Hillside School (Neath)

DECEMBER 2018
2nd North Wales Advent Carol Service (St Asaph) (Company event)
7th Christmas at The Mansion House with The Lord Mayor of
Cardiff
11th Livery Carol Service St Johns Church (Cardiff)
Followed by Dinner at Cardiff and County Club (Company event)
13th P R Committee Meeting and Awards Presentation at St Johns
College Cardiff

JANUARY 2019
8th Guest at Livery Dinner with Worshipful Company of Plaisterers at Plaisterers Hall, London
10th Planning Meeting at St German’s Church, Cardiff
14th Interviewing for position of Clerk for the Company

FEBRUARY 2019
5th Silver Jubilee and GPC Meetings
7th Granted Freedom of The City of London at Guildhall (London)
8th Court Lunch with Worshipful Company of Arbitrators Brewers’ Hall
19th Trustees and Court Meetings
25th Awards and PRC Meetings
27th Budget Meeting with Officers

MARCH 2019
4th Lunch at The Old Bailey with Sheriff The Hon. Liz Green
5th Buckingham Palace Reception to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of The Investiture of HRH Prince Charles as Prince of Wales. Also City and Affiliations Dinner at Haberdashers’ Hall with Clerk
23rd Treorchy Male Choir Concert, St Germans (Company Event)
26th Charity Committee and PRC Meetings
28th The Lord Mayor’s Livery Banquet (Sir Peter Estlin) at The Mansion House
29th Attended United Guild Service at St Pauls Cathedral
30th Represented The Welsh Livery Company at Welcome Home Parade for HMS Monmouth who exercised their right to march through Monmouth.

APRIL 2019
2nd Finance and GPC Meetings
8th Awards Meeting
16th Trustee and Court Meetings
25th Presentation of Awards Airbus Broughton (Chester)
30th Lecture on Captain Scott by Diana Preston at Howell’s School
(Company Event)

MAY 2019
2nd Funeral of Liveryman David Glynn- Jones (Guildford)
7th Charity Meeting
9th – 12th Master’s Away Weekend Bruges (Company Event)
20th Charter Banquet at The Mansion House for The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators (London)
22nd PRC Meeting
23rd Guest at Mess Dinner HMS Dragon (Cardiff Vale Resort)
28th Meeting with Rev Sarah Jones (now Livery Chaplain)
30th Guest at Annual Banquet of The Worshipful Company of Actuaries at The Mansion House (London)

JUNE 2019
2nd Court Lunch Glen yr Avon Usk (Company Event)
3rd Awards Meeting
4th Royal Chelsea Hospital Governors Review (London)
7th – 9th Masters’ Weekend at Ironbridge (Shropshire)
9th Trinity Service (St Mary’s Church) and Lunch at The Shrewsbury Drapers Company
11th Attended Shortlisting for Police Award (Bridgend)
13th Guest Speaker at Education Dinner for Worshipful Company of Haberdashers at Haberdashers’ Hall (London)
29th Guest at Speech Day Monmouth School for Girls

JULY 2019
1st Presentation of Awards - Coleg y Cymoedd
2nd Guest of South Wales Police 50th Anniversary in the presence of
HRH Prince Charles (Bridgend)
3rd Presentation of Awards to 8 apprentices at Coleg Gwent
6th Guest at Speech day Monmouth School for Boys
7th Charity Jazz Garden Party at Hensol Castle (Company Event)
10th Guest at Installation Dinner for Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers (Mansion House)
12th Guided Tour of Royal Chelsea Hospital organised by the London
Group (Company event)
15th Awards and PRC Meeting
18th Attended The Annual Service of Dedication of Knights Bachelor at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by a reception on Apothecaries’ Hall
19th Guest with other Masters at Comporflot Sailor of the Year Awards at Admiralty House and HMS Nelson (Portsmouth) HMS Dragon received an award.
24th Guest at Livery Banquet for The Worshipful Company of Marketors (Mansion House)

25th Installed as Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers at Haberdashers’ Hall
30th Trustees Meeting and Election Court

AUGUST 2019
23rd Guest at the re -opening of Llantrisant Guild Hall

SEPTEMBER 2019
3rd Charity and PRC Meetings
16th Awards Meeting (Silver Jubilee)
17th Court Meeting
23rd Awards Meeting
26th Livery Awards Dinner and Presentation Evening Howell’s School
(Company Event)
28th Dinner with The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators at The Firing Line Cardiff Castle (as part of The Master Arbitrator’s Away Weekend)
29th Exercised my right to drive sheep over London Bridge for Lord Mayor’s Charity organised by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen

OCTOBER 2019
3rd Common Hall, Bridgend College
11th Guest night Dinner at Shrewsbury Drapers Company

Geoff Hughes