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My life in a year – PM David Johnson reflects on his year as Master

Being elected Master of any Livery Company is a great honour, but to be Master of a Modern Livery Company established to represent a Profession in The City is very special.

During my year as Master I supported the various activities of the Company and represented the Company at many great events; but for me there was particular satisfaction in reflecting formative elements from my life.

My Installation Dinner allowed me to bring hobbies and family together – the recipient of my Mothers’ Harp Bursary playing music, Honey extracted by myself from my fathers’ bees mingled with that from the  Master Vintners’ in the dessert, my late brothers’ eldest daughter as principal speaker and my wife of over 45 years at my side. And of course being able to celebrate with friends, some of over 50 years standing, and family (all, I fear, younger than myself!) was a great privilege.

My experience as a Coventry apprentice in the 1960’s was reflected in my pre Education Supper workshop as was my support for the careers fair (in Guildhall). The special Tea Tasting event in the Guildhall re-visited working for Typhoo Tea in the 70’s; Connecting Coventry University (loosely my alma mater) with the Sheriff’s Challenge linked 50 years.

The profession has changed enormously since I was first engaged as a consultant in 1976. I joined a ‘Large Firm’ of c.200 consultants (Coopers &Lybrand Ass), moving from the industrial midlands to the City and ‘lanes and streets’ of the square mile. Maintaining and renewing consulting connections over 40 years was particularly pleasurable during my year.

The highlights of any year are those events that one never contemplated doing or indeed being able to do in any other circumstance – from the Lord Mayors’ programme: standing in the dock of the Old Bailey; being ‘locked’ in The Tower; abseiling down the Cheesegrater (Leadenhall Building) or wearing the robe of office while collecting for Red Cross; attending a Royal garden party and the installation of the first woman Bishop of London at St Pauls cathedral (singing in the Quire) and processing down aisles at St Paul’s, Westminster Cathedral & The Guildhall. Presenting the cup (& WCoMC T shirt!) to the highest achieving Sea Cadet, Interviewing the Lord Mayor and signing our affiliation agreement with No. 600 (City of London) Squadron RAuxAF.

An unforgettable year in my life.