Common Hall 2020: both historic and unique as new Master elected
Published on: 14 September 2020
The Royal Charter granted to the Worshipful Company of Butchers by King James 1 in 1605 dictates that a Common Hall be held on the second Thursday of September each year.
Determined that this year’s unusual circumstances and the challenges of the pandemic would be overcome to maintain this important tradition, the Court convened on Thursday 10th September and was joined, remotely, by some 60 Liverymen who watched a live stream online via Zoom.
The traditional process of reviewing the year’s performance, clothing the new Master and electing the Court for the forthcoming year took place in the quiet, socially distanced environment of the Great Hall, a far cry, unfortunately, from the ceremony and pomp of last year’s event, coinciding as it did with the reopening of Butchers’ Hall.
There was no less excitement though as Renter Assistant Andrew Parker; son of late Past Master Bill Parker, accepted the chain of office from outgoing Master Tim Dumenil.
In paying tribute to the immediate Past Master’s achievements in directing the Company’s response to the challenges of the pandemic, a closed Butchers’ Hall, significantly reduced income and servicing the Company’s loan, the Master pledged to position WCB and Butchers’ Hall at the heart of our wonderful meat industry.
In promising to continue to meet the challenges of the pandemic, he spoke of adopting new formal and informal initiatives, continuing the process of raising funds, striving to uphold the fellowship and focus on the education and charity work our Company is famous for while aiming for the Livery Company to survive, revive and thrive into the future.
Liverymen Paul Dolan, Jim Connell and Julien Pursglove were congratulated on appointment to the Court while thanks were extended to retiring Past Masters Patricia Dart and Stuart Thompson who both retired from Court following 15 years’ service.
Special thoughts and tributes were extended to the families of the late Past Master John Brewster OBE and Warden Derek Berry.
Watch the recording
You can watch the 2020 Common Hall ceremony and elections via the Zoom recording that was live streamed on the day (Liveryman access only).