Master's Dinner 24th July 2008
In the Courtyard of Tallow Chandlers the new Master, Peter Harrow and his wardens Howard Mundy and Michael Wren stood in line to receive their Guests. Fortunately there was a cool breeze which made the wearing of the heavy gowns more bearable. The guests, announced by the Beadle Paul Tredgett shook hands with the Master and Wardens and then moved into the courtyard to enjoy an excellent Champagne, orange and tomato juice. Olives, nuts, cheese straws and exotic organic crisps were also passed round.
At ten past seven all having gathered the Beadle announced that dinner was about to be served and invited everyone to take their seats in the Livery Hall. When all were assembled the Beadle announced the Master together with the Wardens, the Chaplain and the Clerk who processed into the Hall to their seats accompanied by the traditional slow handclap.
The Chaplain the Reverend Doctor Alan McCormack then said grace from behind the Masters chair as follows:
For relations harmonious at elegant tables
For the wisdom of friendship in songs and in fables
For an evening long in good company spent
For the boding of brothers ineffably sent
For feasts that delight us
And things that excites
And words that invite us
To pleasant sodality
And warm commonality
And large liberality
For this Worshipful Company and this City of London
For all these His graces and all His gifts
God's Holy Name be Praised
The Company then enjoyed an excellent dinner starting with pan fried sea bass with rocquette salad and salsa accompanied by Domaine de Montauberon, Vigonier, 2007. The main course was loin of lamb being cooked to perfection and appeared on the plate a gentle shade of pink accompanied by parisienne potatoes, pak choy and parsley carrots, accompanied by a much appreciated Chilean wine Pata Negra Grand Reserva, 2000. A beautiful crème brulee with raspberries then followed. The meal came to a close with a baked field mushroom topped with leeks and Roquefort cheese followed by the sung grace Laudi Spirituali.
The Loving Cups were then placed on the table and the Master initiated the ceremony by offering the cup to the gentlemen on his right. During the ceremony a medley of light music was played on the piano by Mr Robert Jones from the Choir at St Brides Church, Fleet Street.
Port, a Graham Late Bottled Reserve, was then served. The Master then initiated the toast to the Queen and the Other Members of the Royal Family. Toasts to the Corporation and the Company's Traditional Silent Toast to the Company's Benefactor, James Wood, then followed.
Coffee and Chocolates were then served and once everyone had settled the Beadle introduced the entertainers Miss Rachel Chapman accompanied by Mr Robert Jones both from St Brides. The singing began with a rendition of the "The Song of the Bow" from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book the White Company. A selection of songs from West Side Story (I feel pretty), My Fair Lady (I could have danced all night) and other musicals followed. The performance ended with the singing of the first verse of the Bowyers' Song.
The Deputy Master, Mr Richard Model, then proposed the Toast to the Company. He had obviously done some research and began by telling a few stories from the new Masters past. The speech ended with the traditional toast "The Worshipful Company of Bowyers, May it flourish Root and Branch forever, coupled with the name of the Master".
The Master responded by make a passing reference to his mother and then proceeded to thank the Deputy Master for all his work in the preceding two years highlighting in particular the magnificent effort to raise money for the Company's Charities through the Archery Competition between the House of Lord and the House of Commons. He also thanked Past Master Peter Seaton for his work as chairman of the Charity Committee over many years. He stressed that he hoped to continue the work in raising funds for the Company's Charity Capital Fund and intimated that it was also necessary to have fun in doing soon. He then turned to some of his plans for the following two years that would start with a City Walk on September 9th organised by Bob Russell a past master of the Stationers' Company.
Afterwards there was a stirrup cup to enjoy bringing an end to a most successful evening and excellent start to the Masters two year term of office.