Company Comment - Fall 2014

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Inaugural Meeting of the Loyal Societies:
By: John Welch - Master

John Welch, Master

A cross selection of the Loyal Societies meet for an inaugural meeting at the offices of Cadesky & Associates chaired by Dean Smith, Chairman of the BCCTC. The purpose of the meeting was to explore opportunities for cooperation between the Societies to better coordinate event scheduling and cross participation in events, membership recruitment, technological cooperation, and costs savings in materials purchasing etc. where feasible. Your Master represented the Honourable Company of Freemen.

An interesting development was the realization that many in attendance were unaware of the number of Loyal Societies located in Toronto and across Canada as represented by their national associations. The first use of the term Loyal Societies dates back to the War of 1812 where various groups representing allegiance to the crown were encouraged to come together in support of the war effort. In more recent times the Loyal Societies in Toronto often met to celebrate Royal occasions or other events celebrating English, Scottish, and Welsh heritage. Regrettably this coordinated union of interests fell into disuse as it lost its “spiritual leader” and driving force around which to organize.

It was discussed by participants on how to reintroduce this spirit of cooperation. A recommendation supported by the attendees is to re-establish the concept of the Loyal Societies as a confederation of all interested societies under an umbrella organization as a clearing house for event coordination, event notification and publicity, and web site interface. This would eliminate scheduling conflicts that sometimes have negatively impacted participation in events either social or for fund raising purposes. Better coordination would allow for increased participation by all loyal society members and guests at functions across a broader range of interests and events and hopefully resulting in an increase in membership for all concerned. If successful the umbrella organization could re-introduce an annual loyal societies event and when required coordinate activities for special events and celebrations in recognition of Royal occasions both abroad in and Canada.

Consideration was also given to what name would be appropriate for such an umbrella organization that would reflect the combined heritage of the societies while at the same time be inclusive of the evolving diversity of Canadian society. A number of suggestions were tabled but with the consensus that loyal and societies would be retained in some way. Finally those in attendance agreed to become the initial steering committee for the yet unnamed umbrella group and to commit to meeting once a month for the foreseeable future to ensure the initiative continues to maintain momentum.

As Master I fully support this exciting initiative as I believe it will positively impact the Honourable Company's profile, event participation by non-members and others in the public at large interested in learning more about the Freemen and its activities. As the umbrella organization will act as a clearing house for the calendar of events for all Societies we as Freemen will have access to all events hosted by the Societies that might have a general appeal to our members.

I will continue to report to you as these plans for the Loyal Societies develop and take shape and I encourage your feedback and suggestions on any of the thoughts and ideas expressed above.

Lunch at The Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC):
Wednesday July 9, 2014

Joining with fellow members of The St. George's Society
of Toronto for lunch at the RCYC.

A few gallant members attended the RCYC luncheon and enjoyed the hospitality of this historic establishment along with the St George's of Toronto members, as an annual event for the past few years this has become a great place to meet fellow Freemen and others in a relaxing ambience of environment. Mark this down for 2015 as it has very limited availability.


Meet the Court and Welcome to New Members Evening:
June 2014

On Wednesday 25 th June our Annual ‘Meet the Court and Welcome to New Members' event was held at The Queen's Own Rifles Officers' Mess at Moss Park Armoury, a great venue for the event. 20 members and their guests braved the storms to attend and were made most welcome by our new Master, John Welch.

On this occasion, only one new member could attend and the Master was delighted to welcome Hans Bathija and present him with his Certificate of Membership and Pin.

Drinks and the most delicious hors d'oeuvres were served and we are most grateful to Tom Foulds for organizing the venue and catering on our behalf.

The Armoury was very appropriate for the topic of the night.

Your Events Chair, Ishrani Jaikaran, introduced our Guest Speaker for the evening, Dr. Carolyn Harris, a Royal Historian.

Dr. Harris's topic was ‘Lord Lorne, Princess Louise and the emergence of the Canadian Crown'. She was not only a brilliant Speaker but was also able in the question and answer period to speak knowledgably about topics unrelated to her presentation.

Dr. Harris was appropriately thanked by the Master and presented with a small token of our appreciation.

Everyone who attended enjoyed the evening, which came to an end at 9:30 pm.


News From London:
Sept 2014

September 9 th 2014

Sunir Chandaria getting his Freedom at Guildhall in London supported by Honerary Member and Liaison to London Ashley Prime with ceremony conducted by Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court - Murray Craig

September 22 nd 2014

Michelle McCarthy getting her Freedom at Guildhall in London with ceremony conducted by Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court - Murray Craig


Freedom of the City:

One of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today is the granting of the Freedom of the City of London. It is believed that the first Freedom was presented in 1237.

The medieval term ‘freeman' meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land. Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free – hence the term ‘freedom of the City.

From the Middle Ages and the Victorian era, the Freedom was the right to trade, enabling members of a Guild or Livery to carry out their trade or craft in the square mile. A fee or fine would be charged and in return the Livery Companies would ensure that the goods and services provided would be of the highest possible standards. In 1835, the Freedom was widened to incorporate not just members of Livery Companies but also people living or working in the City or there was a strong London connection.

The Freedom in the City today is still closely associated with membership of the City Livery Companies. Visit the Livery page for an insight into the fascinating history and modern role of the Livery.

Modern Freedom

Today most of the practical reasons for obtaining the Freedom of the City have disappeared. It nevertheless remains as a unique part of London's history to which many people who have lived or worked in the City have been proud to be admitted. Prior to 1996, the Freedom was only open to British or Commonwealth Citizens. Now, however, it has been extended globally and persons of any nationality may be admitted either through nomination or by being presented by a Livery Company. There is a long standing tradition of admitting women.

The City of London is keen to maintain the Freedom as a living tradition. The Freedom is open to all who are genuinely interested and invited or born to it. The City Freemen are a very broad cross-section of the population​.

Freedom of the City

Historical Footnotes:
City Livery Companies

Livery companies have a proud history and traditions. Their survival has been achieved by doing what they have always done: fostering their professions, crafts and trades in a wide context, serving the community, supporting the City of London and promoting modern skills and professional development.

Livery companies are the source of, and take a prominent part in, many of the great ceremonial occasions and add a colour and richness to the City's heritage.

Links with the City of London

​The livery companies and the City of London have grown up together, developing and adapting over the centuries to help sustain London's pre-eminence as a financial and business centre. They share many common goals and objectives and work.

The election of the Sheriffs and certain other officers is the prerogative of liverymen alone and the election of the Lord Mayor of the City of London is a shared responsibility between liverymen and the City Aldermen .

The modern companies

Long established callings have formed livery companies, such as the Master Mariners , Solicitors and Farmers . The newer companies represent professions and trades such as Firefighters, Air Pilots and Air Navigators, Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Accountants and Marketors. The International Bankers and the Management Consultants illustrate the involvement of the most modern professions. Companies whose original crafts have virtually vanished have adapted; for example, the Fanmakers to air conditioning, the Carmen to transport and the Horners to plastics.

More information  A website hosted by the Livery Committee, principally intended for the members of the Livery Companies, and their Clerks.



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