I attended a Master and Wardens' Committee this morning. Amongst other things discussed and agreed were recommendations to the Court for the appointment of two new Trustees for the Stationers' Foundation, a new Honorary Almoner and new members for most committees. I am VERY grateful to all of you who put your names forward as volunteers. I am conscious that many of you volunteered some weeks ago and I am sorry that the approval process is a slow one. However the Court next meets on 1 June so volunteers should know by the middle of the month if they have been successful. To those who aren't successful this time, PLEASE don't despair and don't give up volunteering! Your time will come, I promise. I well remember, from when I was a relatively new liveryman many years ago, the frustration of rejection but I stuck at it and ended up thoroughly enjoying the service I gave to the Company.
The Committee also approved my proposal that the Company purchase four three-metre square marquees. These join in pairs to form two larger tents and I reckon they will give cover for around 100 people. I am hoping that they will increase the use we can make of the garden in the somewhat unpredictable English summer weather. These marquees, which are easy to erect,dismantle and store, aren't the perfect solution to making full use of the garden in wet weather but they are (I hope!) a practical and affordable compromise. Let me know what you think when you first see them in action.
At the meeting, the Master admitted three new freemen: Andrew Illes, Stephen Mason and Jeremy Scott. I wish all three of them the very best as they start their lives as Stationers; I know that they will make excellent new members.
Lastly we entertained four guests at the lunch after the meeting. Paul Staples is UK MD of BNP Paribas, who claim to be the largest investor in media in Europe. Cormac O'Carroll is CEO of Poyry Forestry Consulting, a company providing consultancy services for the paper industry. Both these companies are new Corporate Members this year and it was a delight to be able to thank both CEOs for supporting us. Lorna Tilbian is Head of Media Research for Numis Corporation and has worked as a media analyst in the City for over twenty years. Lastly Catherine Mayer is London Bureau Chief for Time Magazine and former President of the Foreign Press Association London. What a line up and what a pleasant and informative lunch we had!