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Much to celebrate at first ‘traditional’ Court Lunch in 18 months

Published on: 6 September 2021

The monthly Butchers’ Court Lunch made a welcome return to its traditional format and was a wonderful occasion for many reasons.

The Master, Andrew Parker, was finally able to welcome Liverymen and their guests to Butchers’ Hall for what was a highly anticipated occasion, and the first time it had taken place in its traditional format since March 2020.

There was much to celebrate, with Gregory Alfred Lawrence, CC clothed as a new Liveryman, and Geraldine Cavener admitted to the Company as an Honorary Liveryman by Honoris Causa. Geraldine was previously Assistant to the Clerk for 17 years before retiring last year.

Liverymen, Andrew Duff and Lorraine Provest-Eames were the first and, currently, only Liverymen to be clothed virtually and were guests of the Company. The Master was able to toast all four Liverymen - hearing and taking part in some of the traditional Court Lunch rituals made you realise how much we have all missed it.

View photos from the lunch in the gallery below...

This special occasion was further enhanced by the inaugural presentations of the Gold Badge, a new award created to recognise those Liverymen who make a significant contribution to the Livery. Assistant Bob Bansback OBE and Liveryman Gerald Shortland were the 2021 recipients and you only had to listen to their background from the Clerk, Major General Jeff Mason, to appreciate why they were both chosen this year by the Nominations Committee.

Bob has served on Court for three years and will step down this month. He has, for many years, contributed greatly to the success of the City Food Lecture and to the educational links and work carried out by the WCB. 

Gerald puts a great deal of time into supporting Teach First, one of our Livery's long-term charity partners, which recruits and trains teachers to work in schools that provide education for the poorest children in our society. He has also worked on the House & Fine Arts Committee, which led the internal refurbishment of Butchers’ Hall before it reopened in September 2019.

Gerald responded on behalf of Bob and himself and thanked the Company for the award.

This special occasion was further enhanced by the inaugural presentations of the Gold Badge, a new award created to recognise those Liverymen who make a significant contribution to the Livery.

As always, guest speaker Ian Wright CBE, Chief Executive of the Food & Drink Federation, was interesting, engaging and provocative. He will step down from his current role later this year having first joined the FDF in March 2015. Ian was proposed by Liveryman, Paul Willington who also proposed the toast to the guests in attendance… and how wonderful it was to toast them.

Thanks and this month's winners

The grass-fed sirloins served at the lunch were generously donated by Liveryman John Bausor, in late celebration of his 80th birthday in July 2020. John also sponsored the case of Dumenil Champagne for the raffle, which was won by Teresa Kirwan.

The 200 Club draw saw Assistant David Richards scoop first prize, with Nicola second.