Recent visit to St Paul's Cathedral

Led by Staff Captain Eric Tinney a happy party of ten Club members attended the Annual National Service for Seafarers at St Paul’s Cathedral at 5.00 pm on Wednesday 12th October.

As we waited outside to enter the various security checking systems, we were entertained by the St Paul’s Cathedral Guild of Ringers who rang Stedman Cinques before (and after) the service. To hear the bells ringing out over the environs was wonderful and then, having taken our seats, we were entertained by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and also Simon Johnson the organist of St Paul’s who played nautical pieces.

Soon after the representatives of Trinity House, including Elder Brother and FMMC member Captain Nigel Palmer OBE, MNM,  had taken their places, flags of more than 20 nautical organisations including some of our supported charities were borne through the Nave to the Dais. The Lord Mayor and, a little later, HRH The Princess Royal, preceded by a glorious Fanfare, were received at the Great West Door. They processed and took their places under the Dome and the Lead Colour of the Royal Hospital School Holbrook was presented at the Dome Altar.

Five combined choirs conducted by William Saunders, Director of Music, The Royal Hospital School and the magnificent Cathedral organ led the congregation in the singing of the hymns, we were also entertained by two superb anthems from the combined Choirs, the Dean The Very Reverend David Ison, delivered his sermon and The Reverend Tim Wilkinson, QHC, RN, Naval Chaplain led the Naval Prayer.

The Lead Colour of the Royal Hospital School having been returned, and the congregation having sung the National Anthem, the service closed. The Princess Royal was escorted to the Great West Door and her Rolls-Royce. She was followed by the Lord Mayor, the flags and the representatives of Trinity House. The band and the organ played us out with a Life on the Ocean Wave and we took the big red bus to HQS Wellington where the Staff Captain, who had booked us in as his PGs, entertained us at his table.

A truly memorable day!

Captain David Ingham sworn in as a Freeman of The Honourable Company of Master Mariners

On 30th September past, our President Capt David Ingham attended on board HQS Wellington to be sworn in as a Freeman of The Honourable Company of Master Mariners, a Livery Company in the City of London which was formed in 1926.

The origin of the Honourable Company may be traced to the Annual Shipmasters’ Dinner held in Liverpool on 2nd March 1921. Sir Burton-Chadwick suggested that the profession was entitled to form, and was capable of forming, a Guild or Company very much on the lines of the old City of London Livery Companies. His vision was realised on 25th June 1926 with the formation of the Company of Master Mariners.

In March 1928 Edward, Prince of Wales, assumed the office of Master. In June of that year His Majesty King George V bestowed the title of Honourable on the Company – a rare and signal honour. The title of Honourable had only ever previously been bestowed on two other companies; the Honourable East India Company and the Honourable Artillery Company. The Honourable Artillery Company continues today as a territorial regiment in the British Army, whereas the Honourable East India Company was stripped of its administrative powers over India in 1858 before being dissolved by Act of Parliament in 1874.  Recently the Guild of Airline Pilots also took the title on obtaining their Royal Charter.

The City of London welcomed the new Company with great warmth and in 1932 the Court of Aldermen conferred on the Company the status of Livery. It was the first time in over 200 years that the ancient doors of the Guildry of London had been opened to a new Company. The Company became 78th in order of precedence in the Livery and is noted as the first “modern” Company. This order of precedence was first set up in 1515 after considerable debate between the existing companies.

It should be noted that when the Guilds were formed in the 16th Century, Master Mariners did not work in the City.  They would bring goods in and take goods out.  It was not until the end of the 19th Century that Shipping Companies employed Master Mariners in the City, mainly as Marine Superintendents.

Her Majesty the Queen became the Honourable Company’s Patron in 1952. His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was Master from 1954 to 1957, and then became Admiral of the Company – a post he holds to this day. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was Master from 1988 to 1990 and The Honourable Company’s connection with the Royal family continued with the installation of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal as Master of the Company from 2005 until April 2007. During this time, HRH was assisted by Deputy Masters Captain AJ Speed and Captain K Hart.

Capt Ingham was supported on the day by his proposer Capt J E Tinney, our Staff Captain, a Liveryman of the Company and his second Mr Adriaan Scheele, our Treasurer, an Associate of the Company.  It was a very pleasant day when we assembled on board and after a few preliminaries we proceeded to the Committee Room on board for the Ceremony.  Capt Ingham was the only Freeman being sworn in on this day but he was in the company of 7 apprentices who were also being sworn in, so it was quite crowded in the Committee Room with the Master and his Wardens, the 8 new entrants and their proposers, friends and families.  

The Ceremony was dignified but not at all ostentatious, Capt Ingham, being the senior entrant, led the way and showed the young apprentices how it should be done.  It is normal that after the Ceremony and signing of the Company's Register, all those who had attended the ceremony repair to the fo'c'sle head for a glass of wine and a chat, however, at that time a shower was passing over the ship and the Clerk informed us that as it was raining we would have to go to the Quarterdeck and mix with the other guests.

After our drinks and chat, we all sat down to an excellent meal in very good company. 

Share a ride to a meeting

In the spirit of comradeship, which is unique to the Felixstowe Master Mariners Club, can we ask you to offer your services if you drive to the monthly meetings and are willing to bring another member from your area?

For instance, one member who has walking difficulty, lives in Woodbridge and would love to attend our lunch meetings but cannot always do so as there is not always a lift to transport him to and from home.

There may be others that we know have similar problems and, if we can put the driving members in touch with the non-driving members, that would be marvellous.

Also, we may not have seen some members recently. Have we checked why?

Please see what you can do to ensure we give all of our members the chance to join us each month.

Thank you.

Tim Thompson - Secretary