Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Worshipful Company of World Traders, Election Banquet

One of the newer and very vibrant Livery Companies is the Worshipful Company of World Traders. They were the first new livery company of the currentMillenium and have gone from strength to strength. The current Master, Mei Sim Lai, has been a good friend for over twenty years and John and I were honoured to be her guest at the Fishmongers' Hall for their Election Banquet on April 24..

Mei Sim is the first Chinese woman to be Master of a Livery Company, just one of her many achievements and a number of “firsts” in her very successful career.

The Fishmongers' Hall is a stunning venue and of course the home of the very romantic portrait of the Her Majesty, The Queen, by Pietro Annigoni.

The assembled company on the night was no less stunning!  We heard from Major General Andrew Cumming, now Controller of SSAFA Forces Help about their work. SSAFA provides financial, practical and emotional assistance to anyone that is currently serving or has ever served in the Army, Navy or RAF, and their families.
I was sitting next to Nigel Pullman, non-Aldermanic candidate for Sheriff this year – see my earlier blog – and it was good to catch up with his campaign and general chat about the Civic City.  I was also sitting next to Lord Clement-Jones. Amongst his many achievements Tim was responsible for setting upCancerbackup (now part of Macmillan) at a time when there was little in the way of information and support for cancer patients and our paths used to cross frequently when he was Health Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats in the Lords.
It is good to see one of the newer companies thriving against the backdrop of the Fishmongers Company, one of the “great twelve”, and over seven hundred years old:  an indication of how the City reinvents and refreshes itself to remain the world’s leading financial centre.  You might argue that the City has always been a centre for world trade – why did it take so long?

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