Saturday, 24 September 2016

The City's links with New Zealand and Australia

I have recently been researching the City's various links with Australia and New Zealand in preparation for a speech I will be delivering to the Worshipful Company of Butchers in early October. As with so much else about the City and its Livery Companies, there is much to be discovered - often hiding in plain sight but poorly documented and little known outside of the circles that have a reason to know.

The following list of links vary from historical one offs to ongoing relationships. At the time of writing there are serious moves afoot to establish associations of Freemen and Liverymen in Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps in the future we will see an Antipodean equivalent of The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America (yes there is such a thing) form in those countries.

If that Bonzer Company of Freemen of the City of London Down Under (a working title of my own invention) does come to fruition, it may be helpful to give the organisation some context and meaning with the following links to the City and Livery Companies:

Links with New Zealand
  1. The Queen of New Zealand is a Freeman of the City of London and Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Drapers.
  2. The Worshipful Company of Butchers and The Worshipful Company of Woolmen admit the New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom as an Honorary Freemen of their respective companies.
  3. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots admit the Air Advisor to the New Zealand High Commission in London as full members of the Company. The Air Advisor will be an officer of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
  4. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots has a ‘region’ (local branch) in New Zealand. The Master Air Pilot visits the New Zealand region during his or her year in office.
  5. The current Clerk to the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (Paul Tacon) is a native New Zealander.
  6. The Worshipful Company of Butchers have, among their treasures, the meat cleaver used to chop up the first New Zealand lamb imported to the UK. Presumably they ate the lamb at a company dinner.
  7. During the annual Trial of the Pyx the Goldsmiths' Company test the coinage of New Zealand in addition to that of the United Kingdom. This is done at Goldsmiths' hall under the auspices of the Queen's Remembrancer who appoints a panel of judges from among the Court of the Goldsmiths' Company.
  8. The Great Hall of the Butchers’ Hall is lined with wood panelling, a gift from New Zealand.
  9. Head Quarters Ship WELLINGTON is the hall of The Worshipful Company of Master Mariners. The ship is named for the capital of New Zealand which was its base and patrol station from 1935 to 1939.
  10. Some of the panelling in HQS WELLINGTON’s Court Room is part of a gift from the citizens of Wellington which includes all the wood for the bookshelves/cases and some of the books in the Library.
  11. The High Commissioner of New Zealand is an Honorary Freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.
  12. There is a close affiliation between the Master Mariners and the new HMNZS WELLINGTON. That ship, by agreement with the Admiralty, carries today the ship’s badge of the 1935 HMS WELLINGTON (as still used today onboard HQS WELLINGTON).
  13. The Honourable Company of Master Mariners has close links and affiliations with the Company of Master Mariners of New Zealand.
  14. St Lawrence Jewry, the Guild Church of the Corporation of London, is linked with the New Zealand Society UK and holds a service on Waitangi Day. New Zealand’s High Commissioner to the UK attends. This annual service was first held in 1933, the year prior to Waitangi Day being celebrated in New Zealand.
  15. Guildhall has a tapestry that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The tapestry was unveiled by the HRH The Princess Royal in 1990 and commissioned from the Access Art Trust in Wellington, New Zealand.
  16. The Girdlers’ Company entertain the New Zealand Society UK at their hall on Waitangi Day.
  17. Every year since 1952 the Girdlers’ Company sponsor a scholar from New Zealand to come to the UK and study at Cambridge.
  18. Other livery companies with links to New Zealand include: Parish Clerks, Shipwrights and Woolmen; I could find no connection with the Vintners but I strongly suspect there is a link with the wine trade.
  19. Numerous New Zealand Prime Ministers have been admitted as Freemen of the City of London.
  20. The first meeting of Liverymen in New Zealand was held in February 2016 at the Northern Club in Auckland. A second meeting was held in November 2016 (photo below) and further meetings are planned for 2017 in Spring and Autumn.
Liverymen in New Zealand meeting at the Northern Club in November 2016


Links with Australia

  1. The Queen of Australia is a Freeman of the City of London and Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Drapers.
  2. The Worshipful Company of Butchers, The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers and The Worshipful Company of Woolmen all admit the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom as an Honorary Freemen of their respective companies.
  3. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots admit the Air Advisor to the Australian High Commission in London as full members of the Company. The Air Advisor will be an officer of the Royal Australian Air Force.
  4. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots has a ‘region’ (local branch) in Australia. The Master Air Pilot visits the Australian region during his or her year in office.
  5. The Honourable Company of Master Mariners has close links and affiliations with the Company of Master Mariners of Australia.
  6. The Worshipful Company of Woolmen have trade links with Australian Wool Innovation: https://www.wool.com
  7. St Mary-le-Bow is associated with Australia through Admiral Arthur Phillip, first Governor of New South Wales. He chose the settlement of Port Jackson (now Sydney) for the penal colony. Admiral Phillip was a Freeman of the City of London and lived in the Ward of Cheap in the City.
  8. St Mary-le-Bow also hosts various celebrations with the British-Australia Society including an annual Carol Service. The vicar of St Mary-le-Bow is Chaplain to the British-Australia Society.
  9. Numerous Australian Prime Ministers have been admitted as Freemen of the City of London.
  10. The Australian Meat and Livestock Trade Association recently opened an office in Smithfield Meat Market (a consequence of the BREXIT referendum result)
  11. The Court room of the Butchers’ Hall is lined with wood panelling, a gift from Australia.
Note: In October 2016 the British-Australia Society celebrated its 45th anniversary at the offices of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in the City of London (Ludgate Hill)



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