The Palace of Westminster was the venue for a glittering dinner at the House of Commons. A wonderful evening commenced with drinks on The Terrace overlooking the Thames and the rain stayed away long enough for us to enjoy the unrivalled outlook across the river – the Nightingale nurses amongst us enjoyed this very special view of St Thomas’ Hospital!
Dinner was sumptuous, served in a private dining room, which did justice to our surroundings. As is customary when dining outside the precincts of the City of London and so not under the jurisdiction of The Lord Mayor, with the exception of the loyal toast, our usual Guild customs and practices were set aside on this occasion but it was my great honour and duty to introduce our host for the evening.
The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP is a Founder Warden of our Guild, a nurse of great experience and a member of Her Majesty’s Government and Privy Council. Anne was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Education and Minister for Women on 12 June this year. She entertained us with great insights into her life in politics and was a delightful and informative after-dinner speaker. We are very grateful for Anne’s invitation, which gave us the opportunity to dine with her in such a magnificent workplace.
The level of noise and chatter demonstrated that this was a most enjoyable occasion for our Freemen and their guests. As has become evident at our events, nurses are great company and they enjoy meeting up with others and our Westminster surroundings certainly gave an added grandeur to the evening.
I need to add that we were restricted in numbers and limited to only 54 places for this popular event. There was a long waiting list of those who would like to have attended. I am sorry that so many were disappointed but we hope to return to the House in the future.