March…. Quite a month

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… Well, it’s been quite a month. In addition to attending some 18 dinners and 13 lunches, there have been occasions of State – The Presentation of Addresses to HM The King at Buckingham Palace as one of the 27 Privileged Bodies (First time since 2012), and the rare Ceremonial Opening of Temple Bar Gates to enable the monarch, or in this case his Representative, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, to enter The City.

There have been international based events – receiving a senior governmental delegation from Ukraine at The Old Bailey; discussing training and entrepreneurship with the World President of Junior Chamber International, of celebrating both International Women’s Day and International Day of Women Judges with Themed Lunches; of debriefing on my recent visit to Ukraine at the Member’s Chatham House Briefing;  and celebrating the City’s regional connections with both St David’s and St Patrick’s Day themed events attended by appropriate influencers.

On the charity front – we held a showing of ‘The Duke’ at the Barbican with Jim Broadbent attending and answered questions afterwards - which raised a much needed  £15k for The Sheriff’s and Recorder’s Fund;  there was a related visit to the Supreme Court and to the Hardman Trust which deals with long term prisoner release; attending the launch of the Livery Food Initiative Van - purchased and run by dint of the £150k raised through livery donations;  of seeing the amazing Whittington Legacy Exhibition; and the moving and inspirational Annual Trip to Treloar’s College to meet and hear from the severely disabled young people who thrive in their care.

More livery based activity has included attending the traditional Pancake Day Race; both presenting the humbling Sheriff’s Awards for Bravery and judging the inspiring Sheriff’s Challenge Final for school pupils; hosting several ward club tours; attending the Livery Master’s Certificate Awards for Apprentices, Journeyman and Masters in 13 craft based liveries; attending the very thought provoking ‘City Water Debate’ and of course attending the splendid Lord Mayor’s Dinner to the Livery Masters at Mansion House.

As well as launching City Giving Day, we have also celebrated the 900th Anniversary of St Bart’s hospital and St Bartholomew the Great parish church - which was founded just 8 years before we started electing our own Sheriffs.

The month ended on a real high with attendance at the completely ‘sold out’ 16th Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch, helping to raise funds for the veterans of His Majesty’s Forces, held at Guildhall in the presence of their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. With massive support from the City’s Livery Companies, over 1600 people were treated to an excellent curry lunch prepared as usual by Head Chef of Noon Foods, Mr Rao – it’s been a fascinating and varied month.

Andrew Marsden Esq
Sheriff of the City of London