Our military affiliations with the Navy, the Fleet Air Arm and the Army provide us with the opportunity to learn what it is like to work in the services and understand the vital role they play in the defence of the nation.
It has long been my ambition to complete the set with a relationship with the Royal Air Force with which I have personal and family connections. It was with enormous pride therefore that at our April dinner we were honoured with the presence of the Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier, The Air Officer Scotland and the Honorary Commodore and Commanding Officer of our chosen Squadron – 603 (City of Edinburgh). The presentation of the Distillers Quaich launched an important prize for the best all round performer in the Squadron and we all look forward to a long and happy association with our new friends.
These events do not just happen and there was a veritable army of supporters to get the evening together especially with the support of my good friend David Richards CBE who has built a world leading technology and engineering company at Prodrive. He even brought his famous Porsche Rally car to adorn the entrance amidst huge amounts of security and interesting traffic maneuvering. We all needed the very refreshing cocktails to settle the nerves and prepare for the memorable evening ahead. I can see more opportunities to collaborate in the future especially if it involves the Aston Martin race cars that he fields at Le Mans each year.
It is always wiser to have a train ticket rather than car keys in the pocket to get home following a visit to the Brewers, who drink the Loyal Toast interestingly in a special brew of the Master of the year – in this case McMullens of Hertford. The same could be said of the Information Technologists who celebrated their 25 anniversary as a Livery recently in very generous style at the Guildhall. What an impact they have made in their short history – but still 350 years to go to catch up with the Distillers – what will life look like then? Perhaps they could give us a forecast for 2367 – that would be interesting! Could spirits help them I wonder.