The Gin Guild’s annual dinner and Spring Installation of new members took place in London’s Guildhall on the 5th of May.
In front of an audience which included WCD Master Chris Porter, Upper Warden Chris Searle, Middle Warden Lorne MacKillop and 19 other liverymen, 23 new members were sworn in to join the Gin Guild’s ranks.
Included in this installation ceremony was the new Director General Pal Gleed, George Maxwell, son of former Master Charles Maxwell, and Dr Abhishek Banik, who all joined the Guild as Rectifiers.
Other installees included multi-award winner Jon Hillgren from Hernö Distillery and Rob Curteis from G&J Distillers.
Following the installation ceremony guests enjoyed the legendary Gin Guild bar, which featured founder member gins, and those of new installees, including the Stranger & Sons (of India) collaboration with Four Pillars (of Australia) – the Spice Trade Gin.
After a delicious meal followed a highly entertaining speech by Liveryman Sam Galsworthy, who talked about the many highs and lows of his colourful career, including his infamous run-in with the Court over his initial choice of company names. He is (still) truly sorry.
The surprise for many on the night was the awarding of the Gin Guild’s Lifetime achievement award, its highest honour, to outgoing Director General Nicholas Cook, which was bestowed upon him by fellow Liveryman and Gin Guild Chairman Christopher Hayman following his decade in the role. Nicholas is only the 5th person to receive this accolade.
Following an excellent speech from Christopher Hayman and a thank you response from Nicholas, the audience rose to their feet to give him a standing ovation, which was then followed by a rousing “Three cheers!” A good night was had by all.
For a full list of all Gin Guild installations, please click here.