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Livery Court Luncheon, The Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Tallow Chandlers’ Hall

Our Livery Company has had strong links with the Master Mariners’ Company, not only because of the mutual interest in water but also as they looked after our regalia, provided a post office address and hosted many Company events.

When the Mariners left HQS Wellington we also parted company with the ship but have retained regular connections with the Mariners.

Our Clerk and I were invited to their Livery Court Luncheon for Masters and Clerks.  It was an impressive event in the striking Tallow Chandlers’ Hall with many Masters, Clerks and Mariners present.  We started with a Grace based on a poem by John Masefield

Let us give thanks for safety from the sea,
and for this bread with these our gathered friends.
May the light guide us till our sailing ends.

After lunch the Master gave us a history of the Company which started with a dinner in Liverpool on 2 March 1921.  The Company was formed in June 1926 and the Company had the status of Livery conferred in 1932.  King George V bestowed the title Honourable in recognition of the contribution of the Merchant Mariners during the War.

The Duke of Edinburgh was Master 1954 to 1957, the Prince of Wales 1988 to 1990 and the Princess Royal 2003 to 2007.  The Duke of Edinburgh is heading that way shortly.

Thanks on behalf of the guests were given by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Mercers.

Over lunch I had the pleasure of being next to the Master Educator with whom I discussed biofuels, and diversity and equality in Livery Companies. On my other side I met the Coopers’ Clerk with whom I discussed the limited number of Coopers in the country, beer, wine and whisky. I also had a long discussion with the Master Mariner on their new floating hall.  They have already designed a boat (floating hotel), identified a mooring and raised £4million; they have a further £8million to go which they are confident of achieving.

It was a most enjoyable lunch with great hospitality and company.  Many thanks to the Master Mariners.

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