If any proof were required that the Distillers are a resilient Company, undaunted by challenges or technology, then the Installation Ceremony for our new Master surely provided it.
The Clerk opened the ceremony by stating “The Court is summoned pursuant to the Company’s Charters for the Installation of its Officers for the ensuing year.”
Thereupon Jonathan Driver was called upon to read the oath of office as Master of the Company, and the Outgoing Master Kenny MacKay declared that Jonathan be clothed as Master and be invested with the Badge of Office. The new Master was then congratulated by Kenny, who was called upon to take the badge of Immediate Past Master and who in turn presented Kathy with the newly created badge of a Past Mistress of the Company. The Master then called upon the outgoing IPM and his wife Nicola to each receive their respective PM badges.
The Clerk then called upon the Wardens Elect to each take their oaths of office. Renter Warden Elect Lorne MacKillop read the Wardens’ oath in full followed by the same declaration from Christopher Searle Middle Warden Elect and Christopher Porter as Upper Warden Elect. The Wardens were then invested individually by the new Master who each took and wore their new badges of office. The Master then presented the Mistress Fiona Driver with her badge of office.
The outgoing IPM read a peroration written by the Father of the Court Charles Minoprio, who unfortunately was unable to attend the Ceremony, in which the achievements of the outgoing Master were praised. Particular reference was made to the strong start to the year and the commitment to Charity and fundraising including the Master’s bike ride from Scotland to London.
In a year of cancellations of Livery events there had been no cancellation in the commitment and effort shown by Kenny, who responded with thanks to the Company for the privilege and honour of having been Master, despite the challenging circumstances. He then asked the new Master to join him in a toast to the health of the Company and that “it may continue to flourish root and branch under his leadership”.
The Clerk then led three cheers for the new Master who closed the proceedings by quoting Tennyson, thanking the Company which he feels is in a strong position to go forward and inviting us all to join him in a drink.