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The Guildhall was the magnificent setting for our second Declaration ceremony on September 15th. 25 new Freemen declared the oath and signed the Register. This brings the total number of Freemen to 73 from 85 different training establishments.  Our Learned Clerk read the Declaration and each candidate was led by the Beadle to be presented by the Senior Warden to the Master for each to declare their oath.  Each Freeman briefly wore the nurse’s cloak to sign the Register and accepting the hand of friendship from the Master.

We had an excellent speech from The Master, Brenda Griffiths, in which she gave an overview of the origins of guilds and livery companies which date back to the Weavers in mediaeval times.  She outlined the aspirations of the newly formed Guild of Nurses and highlighted the three important elements of education, fellowship and philanthropy.  She expanded on the charitable aspect with our vision of uniting all nurses on the NMC register, past present and future.  The Master also explained the origin of the replica lamps which were on the top table.  Only five of the originals had survived from Florence Nightingale’s time in Scutari and, as part of a new tradition of the Guild, the lamp would symbolise enduring fellowship.

After the formalities there was time for photographs, drinks and a buffet supper.  The Court took the opportunity to welcome the new Freemen individually and our thanks to Mark Grove and his team who had organised the catering.

There was a wonderful atmosphere of fellowship and as nurses met up with old friends and new acquaintances.    

Comments from the evening.

Thank you so much for hosting such a wonderful evening last night.  It was very special to be admitted to the Guild in such historic surroundings, with such a stellar list of nurses present.  As a nurse in the early stages of my career, it was an inspiration to see the variety and reach of the nursing profession and be able to meet so many impressive practitioners.  I look forward to attending future events, and thank you again for such a wonderful evening’.

‘It was a very interesting and enjoyable evening all round. It was good to meet up with old friends and to make contact with new ones’