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Master's Page

LETTER FROM THE MASTER 

May 2021

Dear Liveryman,

Firstly, thank you all for the many messages of support and offers of help as I begin my year as Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales.
I really appreciate your kind thoughtfulness.

A lot has happened in my first month as Master and so I am writing to update you about recent events.

Online, we have shared a wonderful Talking Heads Session with Professor Karen Jones and Sue Thomas. Thanks to Sue’s excellent questioning we were treated to the story of Karen’s stellar career - from a ten-year-old selling buckets and spades on the Llŷn peninsula - to National and International recognition in her chosen field of tele-medicine.

Our Senior Warden Stuart Castledine organised a very enjoyable virtual cheese tasting evening where we shared wonderful tastes, interesting information and excellent company. Thank you, Stuart.

On May 13th our Taking Head’s series continues with Liveryman Harold Burrows, MBE, CF who will be in conversation with the Chair of the WLCoW North Wales Committee, Andrew Richards BSc (Ag), JP, DL.

We can also look forward to a virtual Magic Show on Thursday the 27th of May!

Full details of all events can be found both on the Website and in the Bulletin.

I am very grateful for all the responses to the request for “expressions of interest” in the proposed face-to-face events. Your views on what you would like, have proved very helpful as we continue to plan. We must of course adhere to the restrictions.

Looking at Usk Castle on June 13th we hope to go ahead and whilst we might be restricted to a maximum of 30 outdoors, we are hoping that the mid May announcement will signal that 50 people can meet up outdoors - with sensible precautions. Already 44 of you have expressed an interest. As soon as we have clarity, we will send out the calling notice and take bookings – possibly with a reserve list.

The installation celebration at City Hall on July 3rd is more problematic. We will need to wait for announcements about indoor events. Thank you to the sixty Liverymen who have expressed an interest, however.

The two events in North Wales in August are proving popular. The lecture at CaernarfonCastle on the 20th of August will be preceded by lunch at a nearby restaurant. The talk and tour of the museum will follow. John and Rosie Solbé’s kind offer to host a garden party the next day on the 21st of August has attracted more than 20 Liverymen and I am sure this figure will increase.

For the Belfast trip from September 14-16th we are looking at transport possibilities with Edward’s coaches and we will keep you updated as the travel rules become clearer.

We are continuing to hold all WLCoW meetings online, using ZOOM. In the last month most service committees, GPC and Court have all held such meetings. There is some wonderful work going on and I thank Committee Chairs for their energy and enthusiasm.
We now have a plan for the next Award’s year and a draft protocol for Member’s joining through the internet. The work of PRC continues to be outstanding, and I am sure you enjoyed the recent Bulletin as much as I did.

The North Wales Committee are also embarking on their next Awards schedule and planning future events. The London Group are coming together with the same aim.
The Charity committee has several fund-raising initiatives that are detailed on the website and Bulletin. Can I put in a reminder that tickets for the photoshoot by the world-famous photographer David Hurn are now on sale? For £30 you and your family might join the ranks of the illustrious celebrities that David has photographed including the Beatles and James Bond. When 100 tickets have been sold the draw will take place. Please contact Simon Holt to purchase a draw ticket.

I would also like to remind you about the new initiative to allow Liverymen to work together in a different way, by 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.

Through Past Master Windsor Coles I received an invitation from The Master and Wardens of the Worshipful Company of Engineers to join them for their AGM and Installation Court, followed by a ‘Zoom supper’. I enjoyed the friendly AGM meeting and the well-planned Installation of Dr Peter Blair-Fish as their new Master. As in our recent Installation, the Wardens and Court assistants were then ‘virtually’ installed. The supper made good use of Zoom ‘break out’ rooms, so that we were seated with new Liverymen and guests for each ‘course’. I am very pleased to say that several Engineers have followed up with offers of help with our events such as Belfast and have expressed a wish to visit Wales when possible. Our Installation had members from several London Livery Companies and so I was pleased to reciprocate by attending this excellent event on your behalf.

I was delighted to receive a letter from Mrs Morfudd Meredith, Lord Lieutenant of S.Glamorgan, after her attendance at the Installation, confirming that she would be pleased to accept our invitation to become an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. We are honoured and delighted by her acceptance.

We have also received a very kind reply to our letter of condolence to The Prince of Wales, expressing his thanks and appreciation for our thoughtfulness in writing. It concludes “The Prince of Wales was very touched to receive your kind words and sends his heartfelt thanks”.

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

Kathy

Dr Kathy Seddon
Master 2021-2022

Letter's from the Master - Archive

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 2021/2022 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 PR 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