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The Master Writes . . .

The Master often writes to members, and his latest message is:

21 March 2020

Dear Fellow Constructors

We are all facing unprecedented challenges in the current Covid-19 pandemic and I wanted to provide you with some further information about the operation of the Company during the coming months.

First, we have had to cancel and will continue to cancel any events which might conflict with Government advice or which are not thought to be necessary in the light of the present circumstances. The “Treason, Trial and Error” production at the Old Bailey on 16 March for which we had 27 attendees was cancelled at short notice.  We have cancelled the Master’s Weekend in Singapore  from 2 to 5 April, the informal networking events at the Barrowboy and Banker until further notice and the Informal Lunch at Ironmongers’ Hall on 6 April. We have also decided to cancel all events up to the end of May, which includes the Companions Lunch after Court on 7 May and the Master’s Weekend in Mimizan from 29 to 31 May. We have also decided to postpone the Sir Christopher Wren Banquet at Middle Temple from 4 June to 8 September and the Networking Event from 18 June to September, in the hope that the situation will allow us to hold them then.

At present, it seems unlikely that we can hold the Informal Lunch at Ironmongers’ Hall on 1 June or the Master’s Garden Party on 21 June but we have decided to postpone a decision on these until 30 April, at the latest, in case the situation looks different then.

For the time being, we will retain the Court Lunch on 2 July and the Master’s Weekend in Durham from 17 to 19 July. The Master’s Weekend in Durham has proved popular and is fully booked but we will look to increase capacity if it does take place. We will review the position on 15 May, at the latest, to decide whether the Lunch and Weekend can go ahead.

We are reviewing the possibility of holding the Master’s Weekend in Mimizan during the weekend of 11 to 13 September and we have made a booking for the postponed Sir Christopher Wren Banquet at Middle Temple 8 September. we would ask you to try and keep these dates free if, as we hope, you would like to attend one or both of these events. We will notify you as soon as possible when we have more information on these events and the postponed Networking Event.

Secondly, we hope that Court Sittings and Committee Meetings will be back to normal by the time of Election Court and Common Hall on 17 September. In the meantime, we are making arrangements for the Courts on 7 May and 2 July to take place by video and/or telephone conference calls. We think it is important that we have business as usual for these events, including possibly the admission of new Freemen and Liverymen, although there will be some challenges to be overcome! Committee Meetings will also take place as scheduled and, again, these will take place by video and/or conference calls unless appropriate “distancing” measures prove possible for a physical meeting.

Thirdly, we are conscious that all Members of the Company will face difficulties over the next few months and the Company, together with the Charitable Trust, is there to support Members during this time. If you have particular difficulties then please let me or the clerk know so that we can take steps to assist you.

Once we are through the present crisis, I am sure that we shall be able to put things in perspective. We are now only just over a month into the pandemic and everyone is rightly concerned with their personal safety and that of relatives, friends and neighbours. It is uncertain what the next few months will bring but rest assured that the Company will do everything it can to make life more bearable.

With very best wishes

Vivian

Sir Vivian Ramsey – Master

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