The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch4th April 2019
The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch is in its twelfth year. Held at Guildhall and hosted by The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, it has several purposes. Primarily, it raises much needed funds to support soldiers and former soldiers, both regulars and reservists, who had served in Iraq and, subsequently, in Afghanistan and their families. Secondly, it raises awareness in the City community of the role of the Armed Forces. Thirdly, it builds awareness of the national charity that works ceaselessly to support soldiers, veterans and their families - ABF The Soldiers' Charity. Finally, to emphasise to City workers, the breadth and depth of the City's philanthropy to those in society who need help and support.
The Patron of ABF The Soldiers' Charity is Her Majesty The Queen and it is customary that a member of the Royal Family attends and supports The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch. This year it was Prince Harry, a former soldier himself. Arriving to fanfare and a military reception line, the young Prince met and mingled with many of the organisers of the event, the key sponsors and the Masters of Livery Companies running myriad fund-raising stalls.
With the event officially open, the 1,500 attendees were then at liberty to spend as much as they could on the many goods and services put forward by the charities, businesses and Livery Companies with stuff to sell. All profits going to the ABF The Soldiers Charity and the benevolent funds of the RAF and the Navy. Before most people had time to grab their curry lunch, it was announced that over £100,000 had been gathered to that point pushing the total amount of funds raised over 12 years to more than £2 million.
Having done our bit, the IPM Ralph Edmondson and I left the stalls to continue their charitable sales as we headed to the jam-packed Great Hall for our curry lunch and a well deserved Cobra beer.