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The Master's Installation Dinner 22nd July 2010

The traditional biennial Installation Dinner took place late in July at Tallow Chandlers' Hall in Dowgate Hill.

The new Master, Mr Howard Mundy, accompanied by his two Wardens, Mr Michael Wren and the Rev. John Hayton, warmly greeted thirty-three members of the Company at the reception held in the courtyard. This is one dinner to which guests are not usually invited, those attending being all Liverymen or Freeman of the Bowyers' Company.

At the appointed time the Beadle, Mr Paul Tredgett announced that dinner was served. Once all had made their way up the magnificent staircase and found their places in the Hall, the Beadle led in the procession consisting of the Master, Wardens and the Clerk. Before Grace the Clerk read out the names of those members of the Mercian Regiment who had given their lives in battle in the past months. A minute's silence followed. Grace was said by the Renter Warden.

The diners were treated to a fine four course meal consisting of a mixed fish grill with nicoise salad; pan fried English rack of lamb; pear and apple tart tatin; and finally goat cheese baked field mushroom. These courses were accompanied by some excellent wines. The meal concluded with coffee, petits fours and port. This was followed by sung Grace, the Ceremony of the Loving Cup, the Loyal Toasts, the Civic Toast and the silent toast to the memory of the Company's Benefactor James Wood.

After dinner musical entertainment was provided by Miss Alex Kidgell, soprano, accompanied by Miss Elizabeth Burgess, on the piano playing a selection of songs written by Cole Porter. This preceded the speeches where the Immediate Past Master, Mr Peter Harrow, proposed the health of the Worshipful Company and wished the new Master all good fortune in the two years ahead. The Master responded mentioning how honoured he was to be elected, laying out some of his plans for the coming months and in particular his aim to encourage increased support of the Company's activities, emphasising the charitable and educational elements as well as the social aspects., requesting for support from all present in this endeavour.

The evening concluded around 10.30 pm with those present able to reflect on a traditional but most enjoyable evening. Here hearty fellowship was on an equal footing with good food and fine wines, where tradition and etiquette were juxtaposed with a sense of belonging to something unique. It augured well for the new Master's tenure of office ahead of him.

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