January Court meeting and Dinner

Wednesday 19th January 2022

Drapers Hall

And so to my first event of 2022 … At our January Court meeting, we sadly marked the passing of Past Master Dr Isidore Redstone, who served as Master in 1991. In happier news, I was delighted that we were able to approve the applications of 6 new members of the Company, to install two new Freemen (Thomas Zussman and Andrew Pinto), gown one new Liveryman (Darius Namdar) and to agree the appointment of Professor Mallory Factor as a Court Assistant. It is of great credit to our Membership Committee that we continue to have a strong flow of new members, keen to join us.

At our January Dinner that followed, my Principal Guest was to have been Aaron Barbour, Director of the Katherine Low Settlement. The KLS is a charity that has been supported by our Benevolent Fund for several years, in particular their Love to Learn programme. Sadly, Aaron had to pull out at short notice, but he was ably replaced by Paula Robertson, who is the Head of the Love to Learn programme. Paula spoke in very moving terms about the work that they do, and the real people, with very real problems, that they help and support. Assistant Martine Petetin did a fine job introducing all of our guests. I was delighted to present a cheque to Major Niall Hall of the Irish Guards Association to support their fine work; I was even more delighted that Major Hall had brought along Seamus, the Irish Guards’ mascot, to meet and greet our guests. The evening ended with stunning musical performances from two of the students who we support at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – Amy Holyland and Andrew Garrido; they clearly have very bright futures ahead of them. Drapers Hall is a stunning venue – even more so now that they have completed their refurbishment project – and we are grateful to the Master Draper for allowing us to use it, and for dining with us. It was a stupendous evening, one that Catherine and I will remember into our dotage.