Anniversary Dinner – 2 May 24

The Anniversary Dinner was held this year in the oldest and one of the finest Livery Halls, Apothecaries’ Hall. The beautifully oak panelled and furnished Great Hall remains as it was in 1670 with a carved screen at the south end of the room and a minstrels’ gallery at the north end. The room is full of life-sized portraits and stunning stained glass containing Coats of Arms of Past Masters and former Officers of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries.

Immediately prior to the dinner, the new Master, Jane Carey-Harris, was installed by the outgoing Master, Elizabeth Bardolph. After making the Master’s declaration, the robe was placed on Jane by the Upper Warden, Hilary Andrews, and invested with the new jewelled badge of office by Liz. She was then handed the Nurses’ Lamp and received a blessing from the Master’s Chaplain and Liveryman, Bill Whitfield.  The wonderful new Master’s jewel has been generously donated to the Company by a Past Master and is a truly wonderful, enduring gift to the youngest Livery Company.

Following the sung grace, the traditional Passing of the Lamp took place to symbolise unity, trust and fellowship and the care given by members of the nursing profession. Musical entertainment was provided by students from the Guildhall School of Music.

Middle Warden Christine Anderson proposed the toast to the guests of the Company who included:

Master of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, Air Vice-Marshal Aroop Mozumder CB, the Clerk to the Apothecaries, Nick Royle and Master of the International Bankers, Angela Knight CBE.

We were joined at the dinner by our first Company Sponsor, Julian Barnard. Julian is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers and is keen to support the Company in recognition of nurses throughout the country. He was accompanied by Ivor Macklin, the Master of the Painter Stainers.

The Master’s personal guests represented a cross section of her life. They included, The Lady Colgrain, the Lord Lieutenant of Kent; Sir Julian Brazier; Master Glover, Clive Grimley and Martin Biggs, Master Water Conservators. Jane was delighted to be joined by Major Steve Marcham who holds a key role at the Vintners’ Company. The Company have shown great generosity to our Company in the formative years.

The principal guest was Mr Dominic Reid OBE, Pageant Master of the Lord Mayors Show. Dominic Reid replied on behalf of the guests. His speech informative, entertaining and he surprised those present with a minute-by-minute summary of the facts about the world’s largest unrehearsed pageant. No mean feat to pull off for the last 32 years.

The new Master replied, giving thanks to Liz Bardolph for her year in office when the Company became the Worshipful Company of Nurses with all the added responsibilities that come with that title.

The Master thanked Grant MacDonald who had designed and crafted the new Master’s badge. Grant had previously made the wonderful goblets given to us by our fellow Health Liveries.

Jane also thanked Peter Rogers, The Clerk, Kerry Hamer-Nel, Assistant Clerk and Martin Whitehead, The Beadle for all their work in making the evening a great success.

The Master outlined a key focus for the year, the support of younger Liverymen and Freemen. She also explained how she hopes that our association with military nurses will be strengthened over coming months, under the guidance of Major (Retd) Deirdre Barr, the Company’s Military Liaison Officer.

Members of the Company can view photographs from the evening in the gallery in the members section of the website.