The first Friday in November is a key day in the annul calendar of the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers for it is on this day each year that Lightmonger Members, at the Company’s Annual Meeting, approve the Officers and other appointments for the year ensuing. The Annual meeting usually takes place at Tallow Chandlers Hall, with the Officers being installed at a short ceremony in advance of a grand dinner.
This year, Tallow Chandlers Hall remained dark and silent as, once again, Covid and lockdown prohibited Lightmongers coming together in person.
However, ever resourceful, the Company ensured that the Installation Ceremony went ahead via Zoom. We may all be sick and tired of having virtual meetings but thank goodness for Zoom which has enabled us to keep in touch and allowed important events to take place. Thank goodness also for our eloquent Master, the Reverend Peter Harris, who is a natural on-screen talent as well as our new Clerk, Victoria McKay, who makes great use of latest technologies to make sure our virtual events run without a hitch.
At the Court meeting held on Friday morning, another little piece of Company history was made when Tony Greig, CEO of Legrand, was installed as Court Liveryman – the first time this has been done virtually. Tony is a well-known figure in the industry through his involvement with BEAMA, LIA and Voltimum.
Tony Greig, CEO Legrand (bottom right tile) is sworn in as Court Liveryman, receiving a warm welcome from the Master, the Rev Peter Harris (third tile from left on top row).
Court members also showed their ever-improving technological skills as we virtually applauded David Bide on his installation as Senior Court Assistant.
David Bide, 2nd from left, 2nd row from back stands for his progression to Senior Court Assistant. (Those using iPads did not have access to the ‘Reactions’ feature on Zoom but why Past Master Simon Barclay’s clapping hand is a different colour to everyone else is a mystery!)
We were sad to say goodbye to Peter Hughes, who stepped down as Court Assistant today. Having joined Lightmongers in 1999 while president of ECA, Peter served two terms on the Court, the first as Court Liveryman from 2009 to 2012 and the second as Court Assistant from 2014 to 2020.
Peter Hughes expresses his thanks to the members of the Court as he steps down after 4 years as Court Assistant.
Common Hall started at six o’clock in the evening with all Lightmongers under strict orders to attend in business attire with appropriate livery ties, scarves and jewels. More importantly having one’s favourite tipple to hand was mandatory for the purpose of copious toasting.
Our Learned Clerk started proceedings and the Master gave his report for this very unusual year and then guided us through the voting and installation ceremonies where Margaret Fitzsimons progressed from Junior to Senior Warden while Jamie (Jocade) Berry was sworn in as Junior Warden.
Jamie Berry swears his oath of allegiance as he progresses to Junior Warden. (If you look very closely you can see our Master leading the proceedings in the 3rd tile from the left on the top row.)
The Master, the Reverend Peter Harris, will serve a second term in office as will Deputy Master, Stephen Thomas. As is customary, all appointments were announced in the Court Notices of the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 7th November.
There were no formal photographs to mark the occasion this year – only Zoom screenshots – but there was certainly plenty of toasting and applauding and general good fellowship to start us on our new year, all of us hoping that it will not be long before we meet in person again.
Our eloquent Master, the Rev Peter Harris, a ‘natural’ on screen, gives his report for the year and guides us through the formal Common Hall proceedings.
Here’s to 2021 and a Covid-free year ensuing!