October Court Luncheon 2021

15 October 2021

Brewers' Company Award 2021 HMS ALBION

The Master, Wardens and Court Assistants of the Brewers’ Company were delighted to welcome guests from the Aldenham Foundation, Dame Alice Owen’s School and the Company’s military affiliations: HMS ALBION, The Royal Lancers and 9F(Islington) Squadron ATC, to a Court Luncheon at Butchers’ Hall on 14 October.

The Luncheon was a wonderful celebration of some of the Company’s key relationships and an opportunity for people to reconnect after so long apart. Staff and governors from both the Aldenham Foundation and Dame Alice Owen’s School were present and the Master commended them for their hard work over the last eighteen months. He also took the opportunity to thank James Fowler, Headmaster of the Aldenham Foundation, who will be retiring at the end of the academic year.

The Master also welcomed representatives from HMS ALBION, The Royal Lancers and 9F(Islington) Squadron and expressed the Company’s gratitude for its ongoing connections with these groups. He presented the HMS ALBION Brewers’ Company Award 2021 – a prize presented annually to a crew member nominated by the Captain for outstanding achievement – to Sgt Andrew Billingsley (pictured).

As a Company, we are grateful to have the opportunity to once again host events like this and to both acknowledge and strengthen important bonds with individuals and organisations outside the Company. We have all learned many lessons over the last eighteen months and among these is an emphasis on the importance of the small things that you take for granted, as James Fowler pointed out while addressing the assembled guests:

“…Now we can all hope that we are on the road to normality again, whatever changed form that may take. We have learnt so much from the experience, but in particular, I have learnt about the real meaning of disappointment and joy. Disappointment is the reaction of a 13 year old pupil who is preparing to represent his school in the National Independent School Football Final against Manchester Grammar School on Thursday 19 March 2020 – only to discover the match would never take place. Or even more tellingly was the outpouring of emotion when we had to inform our Year 13 pupils that they would be leaving school for the last time at 48 hours’ notice and would never return on Friday 20 March. Yet joy is a similarly strong emotion and is just the chance to return to school, to sit in a classroom again, to play in a hockey match with your friends, or to be told off by real teachers – in person. Who would have thought it?”