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George Brown College

The company’s charity continues the long-standing tradition of freemen, livery companies and guilds of the City of London. This tradition with its own charity is an important component of who we are and what we stand for.


1.1 Introduction

In London England the early guild companies were the medieval equivalents of trading standards departments, checking quality of goods, weights and measures and manufacturing practices. They also controlled imports, set wages and working conditions and trained apprentices.

The word “guild” derives from the Saxon word for payment, since membership of these fraternities was, and still is, paid for. Members of a guild had to be “Freemen” of the City of London in order to employ apprentices in the City. On acquiring royal charters, most of these Guild Companies assumed the title of Livery Companies

Almost from their earliest times the ancient guilds undertook a responsibility for the education and training of young people. Guilds have been involved in university training for many centuries often as a founder and/or benefactor of more ancient institutions and, with the growth of higher education in the nineteenth century and helped to found technical colleges and institutes which were essential for Britain to keep up with other industrialized countries.

City Livery Company support continues with the endowment of chairs, the supply of equipment, student scholarships and industry related research grants and many have formed close links with schools, helping pupils gain the best possible broad education.

The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America, through its Charity is proud to continue this centuries-old tradition in establishing an annual scholarship at the George Brown College, Centre of Arts, Design and Information Technology, School of Fashion Art for students wanting to study in London, England.

The Establishment of a Scholarship at the George Brown College Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology, School of Fashion Studies.

When the founding fathers of the Honourable Company drew up the Constitution for The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America they were fully conversant with the historic links between the Livery Companies and Guilds and charitable institutions when they included the following in the preamble to the By- Laws

“To support our charity and each other through meetings and social events, and to foster growth between ourselves and for our company”

Among the objectives of the Honourable Company are:

  • to maintain a continuous link with the City of London England
  • where possible to develop linkages – personal, social and personal between the Honourable Company, the City of London England and North America, and finally,
  • to support our charity and each other through meetings and social events

Over the ensuing years several charities have been supported on an annual basis through donations to other organizations that have similar objectives as The Honourable Company. However, the Honourable Company has never had a specific Charity of its own to support.

The three Past Masters who constituted the Charity Trustees in late 2006 developed guidelines that could govern charitable donations in the future, all the time being cognisant of the historical aspects of the Guilds in London England and their support of education.

Donation cheque from the Charitable Trust to George Brown College

The key elements of the agreement that was signed with George Brown College are as follows:

“The Honourable Company of Freemen of The City of London of North America Scholarship” for study in London England will be awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student in any program of any year who has been accepted for a minimum of three months to pursue course work or significant scholarly activity at a university or college in the Greater London Authority or the City of London England.

The Honourable Company will endeavour to introduce the student to a Guild event in the City of London England.

Students who accept the Scholarship must agree to attend the Honourable Company’s Annual Dinner in Toronto and give a brief account of how they had benefited from the award.

The scholarship is valued at $5,000 of which up to $1,000 is to support travel costs, including the cost of attendance at the Annual Dinner of the Honourable Company.

2.1 Management of the Charity

  • The Charity is a registered under the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Relations is subject to the Charities Accounting Act and the Charities Gift Act.

  • The formal legal name of the Charity is "The Freemen of the City of London of North America".

  • All funds are managed by the Trustees.

  • The Charity accounts are included in the Annual Report to Members at the Annual General Meeting .

  • There are two principal sources of funds for the Charity:

    - Donations directly from members, including as a result of the annual campaign, and
    - Fundraising through special events.

  • Receipts for income tax purposes are issued for all donations.

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