Monday, 21 November 2011

Worshipful Company of Actuaries

In company with a number of other Masters I went from the Lord Mayor’s Address to the Livery at Mansion House to the Worshipful Company of Actuaries lecture and dinner at Staple Inn Hall on November 16.

This segued quite nicely from the Lord Mayor’s theme of “Fit for the Future” as the speaker was Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association and was entitled “2012 An Olympic Dream – can the games delivery a sporting legacy for the United Kingdom”

I am an Olympic grump. I didn’t want the Games and object, as a Londoner, to paying for it forever. However, I will admit that I visited the site a few months ago and was hugely impressed with the clean-up work that has been done, which would not have been done otherwise, and the facilities are more complete at this stage than we might have thought possible.

I was further convinced by Lord Moynihan: for the first time I understood the structure of how the planning was done, why the site was chosen and what the legacy is already. Not only the clean-up of the site, the complete redesign of the waterways which were heavily polluted, transport infrastructure – all this in place.

His challenge is to deliver for the athletes – and the athletes to deliver for the public who expect much from them. I have reams of notes with many fascinating insights into what has happened and is happening.

He had been in the news during the day regarding the UK’s stand on doping. The UK is under pressure from the World Anti-Doping Agency to relax its stand on disqualification for life for athletes who knowingly take drugs. This is not the athlete who unknowingly takes something that proves to contain a banned substance but one who knows what they are doing. We will see how this plays out in the courts.

Staple Inn Hall is a beautiful gem of a Hall a moment’s walk from the din and traffic of High Holborn close to Chancery Lane underground station. It has some beautiful stained glass windows and was substantially restored after WWII.

I had a delicious buffet dinner and the opportunity to meet some of my fellow Masters and some of the Liverymen of the Actuaries. The Master Actuary said that we all had to do some mental arithmetic (they are actuaries after all) and you might want to try this one. Add the last two digits of the year of your birth and your age – the answer should come to 111.

PS Tried this with the grandchildren, – where the answer is 11 not 111. This includes the newest one who is a few months old i.e. 0 + 11 = 11.

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