Master Mariners' Court Luncheon
Wednesday 1st March 2017
The Mariner's Master Flavian D'Souza is, as readers to this blog will know, an old chum on the Livery circuit and to our Livery in particular and I was very pleased to be one of the several Masters he invited to what amounts to his Swan Song lunch. He wanted to invite many more, but capacity aboard is strictly 120, and it's hard to extend a ship! Arriving with the Hon Clerk a little late thanks to London's terrible traffic, we had just enough time for a swift glass of bubbles on the quarterdeck with a very loud gathering of mariner and masters. Lunch was announced at 1pm sharp and down, down, down to the depths of the ship we went, the dining room occupying the engine room of course. I was as close to Flavian as it's possible to be without being on Top Table and sat opposite the Master Furniture Maker, Ben Burbidge, another good pal from the circuit. We passed a very convivial lunch during which I also met the Principal Guest, the Lord Mayor.. of Westminster, an engaging chap who spoke about his highlights etc. and noted with a wry smile that he was also the MM's landlord, at least when the tide is high! We dined very well on smoked salmon tart; cannon of lamb and choc mousse, and afterwards Flavian presented several cadet prizes from the MM's charity RN ship. With lunch done, we dispersed to the "Model Deck" for a stirrup cup which was very social as one might expect. I took advantage of the time and place to sneek onto the now empty quarterdeck to enjoy a good Cuban cigar.. moments later Ben hove into view having guessed my intent and joined me.. then his Clerk did likewise before Master Environmental Cleaner Philip Morrish also joined us - quite a party now. Cigars done, we went to the Wardroom and enjoyed one for the road for, the time was creeping on and several of us had to go on to the Glass Sellers Ravenscroft Lecture in Canary Wharf... Thank you for a lovely lunch Flavian, I can see you've had a great year!