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WCoMC is a collegiate forward looking Modern City Livery Company; we maintain City traditions, share expertise and information between fellow members and give back to the community through our pro bono activities.

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Issue 83:  March 2023


Gordon Stoker - Outstanding Service Medal

At the Easter Court it was agreed to present Gordon Stoker, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday (see below), with a WCoMC Outstanding Service Medal for his “significant and sustained contribution to the Company”.  The Master visited Gordon on 29th March to present the certificate in person – a medal will follow.  (ED:  I’m told that Gordon was delighted to receive the award - he was later toasted with a glass of champagne and a large slice of chocolate cake which he thoroughly enjoyed!)
The citation reads:  for long and wide service in developing the Company from its earliest days, notably in leadership of its pro bono mentoring activities and advancing a charitable culture with the Company, establishing the Almoner service, revitalising Honorary Memberships thus bringing distinguished people into the Company, and creating The Quaich Luncheon that has become an institution in the Company.


Back in January, before the Charities’ Supper, we held an Admission Ceremony where those people shown in the left hand column were admitted.

New Liverymen, Mark Collins and Bryan Williams, receive their certificates from Master Chris Sutton.  

New Liveryman Steve Mayhew receives his certificate and Court Assistant Malcolm Green is welcomed by the Master.

Our Master's Voice

This has been a busy quarter for me both personally and on Company business.  In December, in the days following Christmas Court, we had an excellent online wine tasting evening organised by the Wine Committee, and then an intrepid group of us braved wintry weather to enjoy Christmas lunch at Ironmongers' Hall. Hilary and I were delighted to attend the Sea Cadets Carol Service at the chapel of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. We are intentionally deepening our relationship with the Sea Cadets, and Gia Campari has started a new probono consulting assignment there, while the mentoring team are engaged both with adult volunteer Officers and also the First Sea Lord Cadets who are the elite 16-17 year olds within the national organisation. I hope that the Sea Cadets will shortly be linking us more closely with one of the Sea Cadet units, which should give our Members the chance to participate in training weekends.

I also started working as a Volunteer Chaplain at Rochester prison every Friday. That’s an environment where you cannot take in a mobile or laptop and thus multi-tasking is impossible! 

Sadly two days before Christmas my mother died at the age of 87, after a short illness. Christmas and New Year for our family was preoccupied with grieving and all the funeral arrangements in Fife. A client visit to Geneva in mid-January made for a welcome change of scene. Then on Valentines Day came great happiness - Hilary and I became grandparents for the first time, welcoming the arrival of baby Rupert the child of our son Hugh and daughter-in-law Toria. 

Back at Ironmongers' Hall, we had a very successful Quaich lunch, where I presented the quaich to David Glassman. Then we had the excellent Charities Supper organised by the Pro Bono Committee at Saddlers’ Hall, always a landmark event in the year. It was great to see so many charity guests, to hear the guest speakers, to see Chris Wilson being given the Matheson Cup, and to present an Outstanding Service Award to Squadron Leader Nigel Moseley of RAF 600 Squadron. I was pleased to be joined at my table by the Master Insurer and the Master Chartered Accountant, among other guests. 

Another highlight of my year was to attend the City University of London Graduation Ceremony at the Barbican, robed and on stage with a selection of other Masters. The Lord Mayor was installed as Rector of City University at the Ceremony, and presided alongside President Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein and Dean Professor André Spicer.

Also on the theme of education, I was a judge in another of the heats in the Sheriffs’ Challenge (Ed: Read more in the next GTK Philanthropy Newsletter - soon).  I am really looking forward to the Education Event and Supper which Malcolm McCaig is co-organising with André Spicer at Bayes Business School on 23 May.

Then there was the challenge of Pancake Day at Guildhall Yard where Andy Miles, John Cowdell, my daughter Anna and I competed in the Liverymen’s, Novelty, Ladies and Master's Races respectively. Anna won her heat, and John won both his heat and the final of the Novelty Race, dressed as a pirate carrying two large inflatable mobile phones. It was great to see our Gonfalon on display carried proudly by Ron Cruickshank, and to have several Members come along to support us.

I had the honour of chairing a Faith Group zoom organised by John Watson on the theme of values and wisdom, with guest speakers from the Christian and Hindu faiths. The theme picked up on the speech made by Anthony Finkelstein at the Installation Dinner.

As readers will be aware, the Master also receives invitations to attend dinners organised by other Livery Companies, and I have had the pleasure of attending dinners with the Scientific Instrument Makers, Plaisterers, Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisers. I also attended the Lord Mayor’s briefing lunch to Masters, and the City Guides Annual Lecture in the splendidly refurbished church of St Lawrence Jewry.

My aim of talking with every Member of our Company during the year has seen me meet over 98 different Members at our events. In recent days my calling around members has picked up pace, and earlier this week I had phone calls with 18 members who have not attended an event since before Covid. I left a few voicemails too - please call me back if you received one. My contacts have included a memorable lunch with Adrian Williams and a phone call with Gordon Stoker on the day of his 90th birthday.  

As a Company we were all saddened by the death of Sally Garratt who joined our Company in September 2008. I was among a few Company Members at her funeral and have asked Sally's husband, Bob, to reprise his eulogy of Sally’s extraordinary life and achievements at our Annual Church Service in September.

Get to Know ... Peter Johnson

Peter is a freelance consultant specialising in individual, team and business development, mostly working at board level. Part of his portfolio provides pro bono work for worthy causes and has resulted in trustee and board roles in the charity and not for profit sector plus mentoring, coaching and consultancy interventions.

He joined the WCoMC in 2020 mentioning that in spite of being in consultancy for 30 years the Company had remained a well-kept secret (Ed: there is a message in there!). He sits on the panel for the Centre of Management Consulting Excellence awards.

He is currently a member of The Institute of Consulting Advisory Committee (ICAC). The Institute of Consulting is an organisation sitting under the wing of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which is the awarding body for the Chartered Management Consultant award, of which Peter was one of the earliest adopters. The ICAC is a Committee of the CMI Board of Trustees.

He has sat on the ICAC for two years at an interesting time in the development of the consulting profession and Institute. Also timely with the opportunity for consultants to continue to embrace the CMC award and new Chartered status too. The ICAC meetings are always lively resulting in a push for action aiming to develop and uphold high standards of consulting.

There is a big drive amongst many of the large firms for their consultants to gain Chartered status. It is with this renewed interest in professionalising consultancy, that the Institute of Consulting is reviewing the way forward in creating an offering that will help consultants employed in large and boutique firms, plus independent consultants too.  This is not a drive to regulate consulting, albeit that Central Government procurement has indicated that the Chartered status is welcomed.

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) is also a determined force in this space - there is so much opportunity for us all to develop a shared agenda, for the benefit of all in consulting. Add into the mix the WCoMC, plus the sterling work from the Centre of Management Consulting Excellence and there should be a real and sizeable benefit for all…if we pull in a similar direction.

GTKP Update

It has been a busy couple of months on the philantropy front so there will be an new edition of the GTK Philanthropy Newsletter very soon. In it you will find:

  • 4W Collette Stone's report on “The Sheriffs' Challenge 2023"
  • An update on The Livery Food Initiative
  • CA Jim Foster's report on the recent Pro bono workshop
  • An update from the WCOMC Charitable Fund including recent grants and changes in Trustees
  • Malcolm McCaig's request concerning a new research project at Bayes Business School’s Centre for Charity Effectiveness (CCE).
  • The Master's report on The Lady Mayoress’ Sleepout at Guildhall yard.

All arriving in your inbox around Easter.

Future Events

In His Master's Voice above, the Master has already trailed several upcoming events. The major upcoming ones are:

  • The Member’s Reception (17 April - evening at Guildhall)
  • My Most Interesting... with Nanette Young (18 April - evening on Zoom)
  • The Education Supper (23 May - evening)
  • My Most Interesting ... with Nick Bush (22nd June - evening at World Heart Beat),
  • and a Summer Celebration (Date & venue TBC early July).

That's one event every month - look out for emails with more details and also how to book on our website - as ever.  

And finally .... 

More on Gordon Stoker, who was sent loads of birthday Cards by Court Assistants and others.

The poem below, written by an old friend, was read to him on his birthday. Gordon was, by all accounts, delighted.

Thanks to all the many contributors of content for this Newsletter and to you, dear reader, for getting this far. After a three month gap, it's a long one!  Have a great Easter and look out for GTK Philanthropy. 
Steve Cant

This newsletter is produced by the WCoMC Communications Group. Please let us know if you have any items to include in relation to any topics that come to mind! The opinions expressed in this newsletter represent those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Company.
​WCoMC is a Chartered Charitable Organisation (Privy Council Reference C877) and a Company Incorporated by Royal Charter (Company No. RC000819).