The Lord Mayor's Bulletin Nov 2021

11 November 2021

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at Dorneywood after visiting Burnham Beeches

Fellow Liverymen,

Few Lord Mayors have served three consecutive terms in office. Such a thing has not happened since the fourteenth century. And after the Livery companies at Michaelmas Common Hall returned my good friend, Alderman Vincent Keaveny, as Lord Mayor Elect, nothing but a coup at the Mansion House could keep me in my role beyond tomorrow! This Russell Mayoralty is finally drawing to a close. Today is my last full day as Lord Mayor.

Back when I took office in November 2019, not in our wildest dreams did Hilary and I imagine that we would have the inestimable privilege of serving as Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of this great City for two years. It has without question been one of the most special and rewarding periods of our lives.

Of course, we could have not foreseen the sad reason for our extended time at Mansion House. And although the COVID19 pandemic has been among one of the greatest trials the City of London has ever faced, it has been an honour, as Lord Mayor, to have seen first-hand the way all our City communities have risen so admirably to the challenge of these times.

This is my last Bulletin to the Livery as Lord Mayor and its principal purpose is to convey my thanks, and those of the Lady Mayoress, to all of you in the Livery who have been a strength and stay to us over the last two years. As well as your outstanding response to COVID19, you have offered us the friendship, support, inspiration and energy that has helped us to keep going throughout. It has been our pleasure to get to know so many of you – virtually and now once again in person – and to have you participate in our journey as Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. The pandemic has shown the Livery at its very best, and for that, and the warmth and kindness you have shown to us, you have our gratitude and respect.

I especially wish to thank you all for the support that you have shown for so many of my events and initiatives, particularly your generous and imaginative contributions to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, for your participation in City Giving Day and for joining me at my Service of Reflection and Hope at St Paul’s Cathedral as we began to emerge from lockdown. Many lives have been improved by your generosity and your involvement, for which you have my enduring thanks.

It has also been the most enormous fun! Hilary and I have had so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences and far too many memories to mention all of them here. But some of my personal highlights have been spending time with the Red Arrows ahead of their incredible display at the Dubai Expo, being among HM The Queen’s guests at Windsor Castle for the recent Global Investment Summit and somehow managing to attend both the Men’s Single Final at Wimbledon and the Euro 2020 Final at Wembley on the same day. Sadly the Mayoral presence did not inspire a happier result at the latter!

I have just returned from COP26 in Glasgow, where I was able to promote the City as the world leading hub for the green finance which will fund the global transition to a more sustainable way of life. Reflecting on these last two years, the green thread of sustainability has been the abiding pattern in the weft and warp of my Mayoralty.

How to address this challenge with be the most significant question facing the City of London for a generation. I know it is an issue to which you – both in your Livery companies and in your own personal and professional lives – are giving consideration and that the Livery’s leadership in this area will be critical to our aspirations for a net-zero Square Mile by 2040. I have already drawn on your insight, perspective and expertise, and my colleagues and I look forward to continuing to do so after my Mayoralty. We owe it to the liverymen of the future to leave them a greener legacy.

In the meantime, I am delighted that in our final few months we have once again been able to get out and about among you. I am looking forward immensely to seeing some of you during the Lord Mayor’s Show this weekend. And I know you will join me in sending my warmest good wishes to Vincent and Amanda Keaveny. I hope that they will have as happy and rewarding a Mayoralty as Hilary and I have been privileged to enjoy.

The Lady Mayoress joins me in sending you our most sincere thanks for the part the Livery has played during the last memorable two years.

Alderman William Russell