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Dining at altitude

Published on: 11 November 2022

On the day that the Livery admitted the Argentinian Ambassador as an Honorary Freeman by proxy, Warden Gwyn Howells tells us how he had the privilege of being able to enjoy the 4th November Court Lunch from a view up high...

Fun times on another level

I’ve enjoyed many great events at Butchers’ Hall over the years - but I can honestly say the November Court Lunch was unique!

The “House Full” sign was swept aside as WCB and Bovingdons staff pulled out all the stops to ensure even more Liverymen and guests than usual were able to enjoy the wonderful spectacle of the monthly Livery Lunch from a totally different vantage point.

A small group of us were able to enjoy a Court Lunch, soaking up all the great atmosphere, hustle and bustle of the Great Hall from a lofty position in the Mezzanine floor was a stroke of genius.

It's like dining in business class!

We all thoroughly enjoyed the Sirloin of Argentinian Beef kindly donated by Thomas Foods UK Ltd. It was a particularly appropriate donation given that the Guest Speaker, deputising for her husband The Argentinian Ambassador, was the Minister for Culture Alessandra Viggiano Marra. The Ambassador was unable to attend at short notice but fortunately Ms Marra was able to accept his Honorary Freedom of the Company by proxy, at the Court meeting which had been held earlier that morning.

We listened at the windows of the Mezzanine, keen not to miss a minute of the proceedings. We heard Ms Marra speak with passion of the lasting and very special relationship between members of the meat industry in both countries.

The Master with Juan and Eve Peron, October 1946

In particular, she made reference to the historic links with our Livery company immediately following the war. She recalled that on 9th October 1946, The Master, Mr Josiah Swain, hosted a dinner for the newly elected President of Argentina, Juan Peron and his wife Eva at the Plaza Hotel Buenos Aires. This overseas visit sparked the tradition to bestow the Honorary Freedom to an Argentinian Ambassador/President when their residency is in London.

Assistant Paul Dolan proposed the toast to our guests who included the Masters and Clerks of the Livery Companies of The Tallow Chandlers and The Watermen and Lightermen and the Clerk of the Founders’ Company.

New Liveryman Charlie Chitty and Charlie Mason were welcomed by The Master, together with PM Mike Richardson MBE who had provided the beautiful yellow roses which overflowed from the silver rose bowl on the top table, in memoriam of his wife Marian.

The traditional Champagne Raffle, generously sponsored by Liveryman Chas Bassett, was won by Mr Ian Lovell. There was a very lucky winners of this month’s 200 Club, when the top prize of £603 and the third prize of £126 were both won by Liveryman Giacinto Fusetti. The second prize winner of £251 was Liveryman Mark Roberts.

The Stirrup Cup was followed by The Jubilee Arms and rounded off an enjoyable and quite unique November Lunch.