Company Comment - Spring 2014

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Charitable Trust:
Ken Foxcroft, Chair of the Charitable Trust

It has been a long tradition of the London Livery Companies to support education through their charitable giving. Your Company is no exception. Since 2008 the charitable trust of your company has been supporting students of Western University in London Ontario to attend exchange programmes with City University in London England; specifically in their DAN Management and Organizational Studies programme. Your Company's original pledge was for $25,000.00 in total which provided five $5,000 dollar scholarships to help support students who were accepted to study in London England. This pledge was completed in 2012 and replaced with a further pledge of $20,000. Which will complete in April 2016. Since the start of our relationship with Western we have helped to support 5 students with their studies in London. Some of these students have attended our events and talked about their experiences whilst studying in the U.K.

We have just received news that the University of Western has just signed a new Exchange Agreement with King's College in London England. King's College has several campuses located in Central London to house its 11 academic Departments and is the 4 th oldest University in the UK founded in 1829. The major feature of this exchange agreement is that University of Western students can choose to study in all 11 academic Departments as opposed to the just one programme at City University. This Broad diversification of programmes makes the opportunity of studying in London England much more attractive for the Western students and we therefore expect to have our scholarship programme become more popular with the students with a greater uptake in scholarship requests.

Please remember to support the Company's Charitable Trust at our events and at Quarterage time.


Stewardship Report:

Click here to read the report



The Honourable Company Beer Tasting:
Ishrani Jaikaran, Events Chair

On February 11 a beer tasting in aid of The Honourable Company's Scholarship at Western University for post-graduate study in London, England was held in the Green Room at the Performing Arts Lodge on The Esplanade.

15 Freemen and guests, in total 54 attendees, attended. John Sleeman was our host and he introduced four beers his Brewery produces: Sleeman, Unibroue, Okanagan Springs and Sapporo for the evening's tasting. He gave a very interesting history of Sleeman Breweries.

With a lineage that extends over five generations, John takes particular pride in his heritage. In fact, when it comes to beer tradition, his grandfather George A. Sleeman wrote the book on it literally.

John's family's brewing tradition in Canada extends back to 1834 when John H. Sleeman arrived in Ontario from Cornwall, England. By 1851, he started the first Sleeman brewery to be located in Guelph, Ontario, brewing small 100-barrel batches.

The passion that drove John's great-great-grandfather to begin his renowned Canadian brewing tradition is the same passion that runs through John's veins today – and he looks forward to passing on the tradition to many more generations to come

John's beers were complimented by a tasty selection of hors d'ouerves provided by Catering For You and accompanied by wines supplied by the Honourable Company.

Participants donated to our Raffle and Silent Auction with gifts generously provided by members and friends: Master Frances Sommerville, Past Masters john Smith, John Bishop and Ken Foxcroft and Deputy Master John Welch .

Of particular note was the donation of a 30-minute flight in a Tiger Moth, from guest Robert Murphy:

For a minimum donation of $500.00, you too can enjoy a 30-minute flight in the Tiger Moth. Please contact John Bishop @ 416-520-0531 for further information.

By all accounts it appears that this was another successful Freemen event and raised over $2,000.00 for the Company and its Charity and the organizers wish to thank the participants for their generous support for our Company and Charity.

Your Master, Frances Sommerville with John Sleeman:


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Taking the Freedom of the City:
John Welch, Deputy Master

A few weeks prior to Christmas Anne and I made a return trip to London after too many years to take the Freedom of the City. In addition to the Freedom it was another opportunity to reconnect with the City we emigrated too so many years ago.

At the suggestion of friends and being a reciprocal club of the National Club we decided to stay at the Sloane Club just off Sloane Square. The club was delightful in all aspects and being centrally located made it easy to tour and shop. As it was Black Friday weekend the West End shops were jammed with Londoners and tourists alike making it hard to distinguish between buyers and window shoppers. The crowds were generally pleasant but elbows were up and slightly on the defensive. Between the theatre and a day in sightseeing in Greenwich we had a great getaway.

Ashley Prime our representative in London met with us on the day of the induction and it was good to catch up. Having just returned to London after living abroad for so many years he and family are still readjusting to “home”. Having been there and done that we shared some common experiences.

As many of you know the ceremony is brief and to the point. Having practised the oath in advance we managed not to verbally stumble on some unfamiliar grammarian construction. What was nice and quite fitting being Canadian we were treated to some stories and memorabilia of previous Freemen inductees such as a long line of our Prime Ministers and were shown the book of their signatures in beautiful calligraphy. Alas no recent PMs have taken the Freedom, that just might be a reflection on our maturity and changing face as a nation.  

Most amusing was the story of Bob Hawke the Labour Prime Minister of Australia during the 1980's when Anne and I were living in Sydney. Having accepted the invitation to take the Freedom complete with the attendant gala Guild Hall dinner, all of which were arranged, he called an election within a few days of the event in London and as a result did not show up and everything was cancelled. His very ornate and gilded Certificate of Freedom still hangs on the wall as a memento to poor behaviour as when he did eventually take the Freedom he was given the basic certificate. Coincidently we were also shown Nelson Mandela's induction just a few days prior to his death.  

It was all over within a half hour and with the appropriate purchase of cuff links and pin in hand we bade goodbye and headed out for a pub lunch.

The City of London Freeman's Guide:

Published by the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists

Following almost two years of research, development and reviews The City of London Freeman's Guide is now available for purchase from Amazon in eBook format for Kindle. With a Foreword by the Master and Wardens of the Information Technologists' Company, all proceeds during the first year of publication will go to the Company's charitable funds.

The City of London Freeman's Guide is a concise almanac and guidebook to the Freedom, Livery and the City of London's ancient offices, ceremonies and customs. However the guide is no dry history book, rather it signposts the civic, ceremonial and social aspects of the City as they are to be found today - providing the key to a treasure chest of knowledge and experience for all Freemen of the City of London.

Ever wanted to stay overnight in a Livery Hall, attend the Ceremony of the Quit Rents, Drive sheep across London Bridge, visit the Court of Chivalry, find out if your ancestor was a Freeman of a Livery Company in medieval times, or simply enjoy a curry lunch on HQS Wellington? These and hundreds of other facts associated with the City, Livery and Freedom in modern times are to be found in this handy guidebook.

The Kindle version is priced at £5.15 (inclusive of VAT and free wifi download). iPad/iPhone users will be pleased to know that a version in Apple iBook format will be available by the 2nd week in February, alternatively there is a free and easy to use Kindle emulator application for iPhone/iPad available when downloading the book from Amazon .

Paul D Jagger MSc PgDMS CITP FBCS: T 44 (0) 1462 641 454 : M 44 (0) 7534 008 322
Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists
The 100th livery company of the great and famous City of London      

Follow me on twitter @CityandLivery for history, law, lore and customs of the great and famous City of London and its diverse ancient and modern Livery   Companies or search for hash tags #LiveryFact, #CityFact and #HeraldryFact

'Logic has its limits and the position of the City lies outside them' - 1957 Royal Commission into Local Government




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