Once again I have had an active month representing the Company at a number of celebrations and charitable endeavours, as well as enjoying the Fellowship within our own Company.

February has been a good month for Awards celebrations, with events hosted by the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (where I met several of our Fellow Liverymen), the Worshipful Company of Constructors (hob-knobbing with Fellow Masters) and a thank you dinner for sponsors organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering.   The achievements of the awardees at all of these events were extraordinary and it is a great privilege to celebrate their success on behalf of our Company. 

The Top Table of the Constructors’ Dinner

Closer to home there have been two special events within our own Company. Firstly the hugely enjoyable ‘Virtual Burns Night’ organised by Past Master John Baxter, with attendance by almost 50 of our members and their guests.  I am very grateful to Past Master John and the other members of our Company that made this such an enjoyable evening and a real ‘down time’ for me. I hope we will be able to continue this ‘emerging tradition’ in future.

The other Company event was our Service of Thanksgiving for our Late Honorary Chaplain, Reverend Peter Hartley.  Held in our Company church of St Vedast-alias-Foster, we celebrated Peter’s life with a moving service, which included recollections from Past Masters Isobel Pollock-Hulf and David Johnson (the latter read by Past Master Pat O’Reilly), and our Late Clerk and Honorary Freeman, Colonel David Swan.

The service was followed by a reception in the Church, funded by the Engineers Trust through a dedicated fund set up by Immediate Past Master Peter Blair-Fish and Consort Diana in memory of our 2nd Founder Master, Sir Denis Rooke. The event, unique in my experience, brought together many friends who had not been able to meet since Covid and was clearly greatly enjoyed by all those attending. My thanks go to the Wardens, Immediate Past Consort Diana, the Clerk and Assistant Clerk, and the team at St. Vedast, all of whom volunteered to serve refreshments and many of whom looked resplendent in a matching set of Company aprons.

As my Master’s year draws to a close, I am engaged in ‘putting to bed’ all the initiatives that seem to have sprung up over the year.  These include a refresh of our Company Strategic Plan (no real changes, but perhaps a crystallisation of why we are here and what we need to do to move forward in our three main principles of Fellowship, Promotion of Engineering and Philanthropy), addressing the personnel changes in our organisation, supporting the needs of the UK aviation sector through the Inter-livery Green Aviation Task Group and establishing a means of ensuring the Company can sustain its membership through a period of rapidly changing socio-economic challenges.

Master Audrey Canning