Common Hall Speech - September 2017

Address to Common Hall – September 2017

Wardens, Assistants, Past Masters, Liverymen and our gallant & learned Clerk,

Before talking of the year ahead I wish to express my sincere thanks to you for electing me Master of this proud and ancient Livery. I fully recognise that for the forthcoming year I am your nominated head as Master and I pledge to represent this Livery and its liverymen to the best of my ability, upholding the traditions, principles and values that we so jealously guard.

We all know the story which has passed in to folklore of a boy from the Royal Forest of Dean, Richard Whittington coming to London and becoming Lord Mayor. The story of Geoff Gillo from the Royal Forest of Dean becoming Master Butcher will never be as well known BUT I could not have achieved this without the support of my family and colleagues. Particularly the love and support of Glenise over the many years especially since I came onto the Court and I am delighted that Glenise has now embarked on her own journey to become a liveryman of our proud and ancient Company.

Having finalised our plans for the new Hall, NOW is the time to set our direction for the future - to ensure Our Livery engages fully across its principles of Fellowship; Charity and Education.

Almost every applicant who comes before the Court says that they want to give something back – liverymen - now is the time!

This is a most exciting time in our history. The redevelopment of the Hall is complex and requires significant support and contribution – engagement with and from the whole livery.

Taking into account planned events, If every liveryman pledges £360 a year for the next three years we reach our investment target. A weekly pledge equivalent to a pint in the Hand & Shears.

This is the time to pledge our support - to ensure that we enjoy the New Hall and leave a legacy – A NEW HALL that is fit for purpose, designed and equipped for the 21st century which City businesses, residents, organisations and others from outside the City will consider “The Venue of Choice”.

One which is the HOME of OUR Livery providing for the traditions, history and future life of THIS Livery representing OUR trade in the modern day while facing the commercial realities by generating income to support the Livery.

I am delighted that ALL of our societies are contributing to the redevelopment fund raising - great examples of the fellowship and engagement that already exists through these societies.

My Master’s Event will also be significantly contributing to the Redevelopment Fund as well as to Charity, Lifelites, my chosen charity provides high tech, stimulating equipment for over 10,000 seriously handicapped and terminally ill children in hospices.

Warden Tim Dumenil, you and your Working Party have a great task ahead. The success of the fundraising will benefit OUR Livery for years to come.

Liverymen, now is the time to pledge our contributions – and Warden Tim, here is mine.

Our direction must ensure engagement across our industry – not only with a few but with the many affiliates where we have a common interest – placing the Butchers’ Company at The Heart of Our Industry.

New Members are the lifeblood of any organisation. We are no exception.

The direction of our General Charities has momentum with engagement across the wider community and general public. This is so important, to show that whilst Livery Companies are City based we engage across the United Kingdom.

The direction of our Education involvement continues to widen. We engage and must increase our engagement with support for those activities which are the heart, soul and lifeblood for our industry.

Fellow Liverymen – we have a very demanding but exciting year ahead. This is a year to set our direction for the future.

Engagement can deliver for our Livery a sustainable and successful future.

I ask for your support to deliver that success and leave our legacy.

Thank You for Listening to Me.

It is my pleasure to give a Vote of Thanks to the Immediate Past Master.

Past Master Stuart, we are most grateful for your contribution to our Livery not just in the past year as Master but also for your contribution over your years, so far, on the Court and especially when as Chairman of the then newly formed Development Committee you took up the challenge to provide a vision and a plan for the redevelopment we shall soon enjoy.

You have been fully supported by your wife Linda who has represented our Livery at Consort’s events – increasing evidence not only of the involvement of Consorts but the wider expectation of the Corporation and Liveries to become more engaged and relevant to the City and the community at large.

Linda, our thanks to you for your contribution during the past year.

Stuart, I am sure that you and Linda will have numerous memories of the past year, many of which will be special to you both.

The presence of the Master and Mistress at events in the City and further afield together with the Company’s contributions to charities and education ensure the Worshipful Company of Butchers remains a respected and acknowledged livery company amongst our peers.

To you, not only our thanks for a job well done but our best wishes for a return to normality as well as our thanks that you will continue to contribute to the running and decision making of the Court.

As a token of the Livery’s appreciation of your year as Master it is my pleasure to invest you with this Past Master’s medal which I know you will wear with pride.