On a typical February day, the luncheon was held in the beautiful Girdlers’ Hall, following a Court meeting that morning.
The attendees to the luncheon were greeted by Pipe Sgt. Andrew Parsons of the London Scottish Regiment. This Scottish flavour continued with the ‘Selkirk Grace’ from our Honorary Chaplain and the Piping in of the Haggis – with the Clerk bringing up the rear, rotating aloft a couple of empty bottles of J&B Scotch! – followed by a unique rendering of the traditional address by our Master.
The Scottish theme and remembrance to the ‘Bard’ Robert Burns continued throughout.
Proposing a toast to our guests, Liveryman Commodore Jock Alexander OBE introduced Masters from the Brewers, Glass Sellers, Coopers and the Upholders, together with their learned and gallant Clerks. He also welcomed 10 new liverymen, a new Corporate Freeman, Rita Greenwood of William Grant & Sons and congratulated Dan Szor, David Gates and Ewan Lacey on their elevation to Steward. He also welcomed the Master’s personal Guests, including the speaker Mr. Lawson Doe.
During his speech, Mr. Lawson Doe showed himself to be the authority on the ‘Bard’ for which he is well known.,.
The Master awarded prizes to WSET winners Laurence Walker and James Crewe; and to our successful golfers Bob Howell, Bruce Hyde and our ‘Golfer of the Year’ Nathan Last.
The Master then regaled the assembled throng in his own poetic Bard style ‘And all that’ a very entertaining rendition. He also shared the fact that he had been provided with a new belt, very relevant as we were dining at the Girdlers, but that it had to have an extra hole put in it and wondered why?
A toast to the Queen was followed by the singing of the National Anthem, a prelude to the premier of the Clerk’s composition, “Good Heart”, a new Distillers’ Song. This was delivered from the balcony by Honorary Assistant Ian Harris (bass/baritone) accompanied by the Clerk himself on the piano – our very own “Hinge & Bracket”. Our excellent soloist delivered each verse (telling the story of the Company’s history in clipped tones) and encouraged the assembled throng to join in the chorus, which was proudly done.
The luncheon concluded with a rousing rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
Following the luncheon, everyone retired for a restorative Stirrup Cup with the Master, where they were joined by the consorts of Liverymen who had dined at a separate Luncheon at Vintners’ Hall with the Mistress.