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Master's Page

LETTER FROM THE MASTER 

31st March 2021

“It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them.” - Winston Churchill

Dear Liveryman

I am delighted and very honoured that you have invited me to be the 2020/2021 Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. My sincere thanks to you all and please accept my assurance that I will do my very best to make this as good a year as possible.

As Spring is arriving all around us, a sense of optimism and hope prevails. Daffodils, primroses, blossom and catkins all herald the start of a new year. Some of you will know that butterflies have played an important part in my life, especially in my Churchill Fellowship. Therefore, I wanted to have them ‘flying’ on my first Master’s page. They lift our hearts as they bravely emerge from their cocoon and take flight, perhaps a metaphor for us as we take our first steps out of lockdown.

I have thought regularly about what might be possible during my year and would like to share these thoughts with you. Over the last twelve months we have all learned the value of fellowship, of doing things together. My aim will be to provide opportunities to ensure that this possible.

However, we continue to face uncertainty and change. Currently we are in the midst of the full ‘roll out’ of the vaccination programme. We receive regular updates about the rules governing our daily lives. Safety must be ensured in whatever we do. We understand that Liverymen will be anxious about attending face-to-face meetings; therefore, our plan will be to have a flexible calendar that allows us to respond to the needs and wishes of you all over the coming year.

We have seen how online resources can work well and we will aim to phase in a blend of online and face-to face activities, as the situation allows. We will continue to make full use of software such as ZOOM and our excellent Website and Bulletin. Currently all meetings will be online.

So, what is being planned? In terms of online activities, we will continue to offer “Talking Heads” sessions where we can enjoy learning together about our amazing fellow liverymen. Karen Jones, Harrold Burrows, Simon Holt and Group Captain Andrew Turk (RAF Valley) will all be sharing their life stories over the next few months. We also have a virtual cheese tasting in April and a magic show in May to look forward to. Full details of these events are on the website. The work of the Awards Committee continues to be outstanding and in spite of all difficulties this year the majority of the programme has been completed. To allow Liverymen to work together in a different way we are also setting up special interest panels. These will give Liverymen the opportunity to collaborate to help young people in Wales in two important areas. Please contact Past Master Geoff Hughes if you are interested in helping the children of prisoners. Please contact Liveryman Keith Shankland if you would like to help the young homeless in Wales. The new directory of liverymen is available in the members area of our website.

It is understandably more difficult to speak with any certainty about face-to-face events. We have kept the option of a Garden Party at Usk Castle on the 13th of June open. Depending on rules about outdoor gatherings this could take place. Similarly, City Hall has worked with us to constantly review what may be possible for our Installation celebration banquet on July 3rd. We are also working with our North Wales Liverymen on plans for a lecture and garden party in August. For our away visit to Belfast aeroplanes may pose a problem so we could let everyone make their own travel arrangements and meet at the Titanic Hotel in September. We will of course take you views on what you would like in every instance.

Mention should be made of two initiatives from our Charity Committee. We will hold a charity art auction in October. Donations “from your attic” will be gratefully collected. We are also delighted that world famous photographer David Hurn is allowing us to auction “a photoshoot” with him. You could join Sean Connery, Jane Fonda and the Beatles in front of his lens. Details of both are on the website and Simon Holt is the main contact.

Finally, I would like to say how much I am looking forward to working with our excellent officers and hardworking committees. The outstanding work by our new Almoner and the membership committee provide us with support and help as we need it. The huge improvement in our website, bulletin and social media platforms are due to the dedication and hard work of our PRC committee and are much appreciated. The hard-working North Wales and London Committees allow us to be ensure we work across Wales and beyond – especially through our online interaction.

I am optimistic that we can have a wonderful year and I’m very grateful for all you support and kindness

Kathy

Dr Kathy Seddon, Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales 2021-2022