Company Comment 2017

If you have any trouble reading this email, click here



Ms. Ishrani Jaikaran 

Ishrani Jaikaran

Master’s Report August 2017-2018

“I was deeply honoured to have been invested as Master of the Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America at the Annual dinner on Friday, May 5th, 2017. I am truly humbled to be chosen by the Court which reflects the thoughts of the Membership for this esteemed office. 

The last two months have given me time for the reality of this office to sink in. I realise how much faith you all have in me to guide the Honourable Company on the right path and to take the Company forward respecting the values and traditions that have been set out before us, by the Guilds and Livery Companies in the City of London, our Founder Members and our very capable Past Masters.

I will do my very best to live up to these high ideals. 

I have just returned from London where I met with the Vicar of the Guild Hall and with Mr. Paul Jagger a member of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.  I also met with the Master and the Honorary Clerk of The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and was inspired by the energy generated by the Livery Companies to adhere to their values by combining social conviviality with serious aims.

With the help of the competent Court my aim for the year ahead is to increase membership and raise support for our Charitable Trust.  To do this we need to broaden our profile and communicate our history and traditions more effectively.

  1. By reconnecting with The Worshipful Companies in London.  I encourage any member who is in communication with their Livery Company in the U.K. to get in touch with me.
  2. With our website which I know can do with some revitalization.  However, until we have resources to update our website the intermediate step will focus on social media which will broaden our profile by posting immediate events and relevant articles.
  3. By having exciting events to help raise support for our Charitable Trust and
  4. By exploring options to initiate an affiliation with a Canadian regiment.  This has been a tradition with Livery Companies in London and would benefit both parties.

My hope is that all our members will support our efforts and attend events, bringing friends and spreading the word.

We sincerely hope that you will participate in order that The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America can grow and take its rightful place amid The Worshipful Companies in the City of London.”


Annual Dinner Report – (Hans Bathija, Events Chair)

On Friday 04 May 2017 the Annual Dinner for The Honourable Company of the Freemen of the City of London of North America was held at the National Club. 

Our Speaker, introduced by Master Roger McMillan and thanked by Past Master Tom O’Carroll, was Mr. Kevin McGurgan, OBE, HM Consul General and Director-General for UK Trade and Investment in Toronto.  Mr. McGurgan’s speech was on topic ‘Brexit’.  The speech was very well received.  He focused on the challenges facing the UK post Brexit.

Freemen, their guests, our Speaker Mr. Kevin McGurgan, and many Past Masters were in attendance. In total sixty-five members and guests attended.

On arrival guests were greeted by the Master Mr. Roger McMillan, Master Elect Ms Ishrani Jaikaran and Deputy Master Elect Mr. Norman Morris.

The National Club proposed and delivered an excellent three-course dinner consisting of Tomato Lemongrass Consommé with Potato-Crusted Dayboat Scallop and Braised Leek Julienne, English Cut Prime Rib of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Jus and Vegetables, Raspberry Key Lime Tart with Chantilly Cream and Seasonal Berries, followed by an English Cheese platter and port.  The wines kindly sourced by Past Master Ken Foxcroft.

Past Master Neil Purcel pronounced Grace, Geoffrey Berg proposed the Loyal Toast to Her Majesty, Past Master Brian Lechem proposed the Toast to the Office of The President of the United States and Stephen Lautens proposed the Toast to The Honourable Company.

The traditional Loving Cup was part of the celebrations and circulated to the Head Table and everyone who attended.

This was followed by the Investiture of the New Court of 2017-2018 and the installation of the New Master Ms. Ishrani Jaikaran.

The Court for 2017 consisted:
MASTER   Ishrani Jaikaran
Past Master Tom O’Carroll
Past Master John Welch
Past Master Frances Sommerville
Past Master Ken Foxcroft, Worshipful Company of International Bankers
Peter Reed
Michele McCarthy
Hans Bathija
Gerard Ezinwoke
Member Emeritus
Past Master Captain G. Raymond Gibson, Honourable Company of Air Pilots
Ex Officio
Ashley Prime, London Clerk
Past Master Neil Purcell, Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers, City and Guildhall Liaison

Master Ishrani Jaikaran closed the evening by outlining her plans for her year in Office and thanking everyone for attending, the National Club for the food and service and the sponsors and the donors for their wine contribution.

The Honourable Company would like to express its gratitude and thank the following Past Masters and Members who generously supported the Annual Dinner:
The Past Master John Bishop, PM Ken Foxcroft, Past Master Tom O’Carroll, PM John Sleeman, Past Master John Smith PM Roger McMillan and PM John Welch.

A very successful evening, which concluded at 11pm.



The Garden Party was held on 13th June 2017 at the Old Mill, it was the first of its kind that replaces our “Meet the Court” event held in previous years new members to the company who attended were welcomed.


During the year April 2017 – March 2018 we greeted seven new members

1. Norman Godfrey
Statement of Purpose
“London has always been a magnet to both my heart and my head, drawing me back regularly.  As a first generation Canadian for me the City of London represents the accumulated history of the development of Parliamentary democracy, the resilience of the human spirit, the value in honouring, the past while marching confidently into the future.  Given all that the City of London has had to endure over the centuries its pulse of activity, diversity and vibrancy give hope that contemporary western civilization will endure and flourish.” Norman

Norman Godfrey

2. Keith Jones

Keith Jones

3. Jameel Rahman

Statement of Purpose
“My wife Zareen and I have lived in London for several years of our lives and have developed a very close affinity to the City of London. We continue to maintain close ties to London.

Throughout my professional life, I have strongly believed, in the development of the younger generation in one’s chosen profession.  Not only does one share the knowledge and experience with persons who will hold the mantle in the coming year, there is also a lot to learn from them.  The Livery Companies, associations of Craftsmen were developed to control the admission to the trade by apprenticeship. The concept of aiding the professional development and the object of providing “moral leadership by setting standards of excellence in trade and probity in public life” resonates with me.” Jameel

4. Frederick W Russell-Rivoallan, BA, MSc, FRSA

Statement of Purpose
“Belonging to an organisation that brings together professionals from different fields of competence, while celebrating age-old traditions is important to me as an ex-pat Canadian. Becoming a member of The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America is meaningful as it helps to build a bridge between Canada and Europe (specifically The City of London, Toronto and Paris) while also helping to establish links with other professionals not only in Canada, but in the United Kingdom and France. The ancient traditions of The City, kept alive by professional guilds emphasises an attachment to familiar customs as an Anglophone Canadian. Uprooted, while living abroad, appreciation of the rights and responsibilities of denizenship become acutely important. Freemen of the City of London embrace these rights and responsibilities as the foundation of community through support to The City, charity and education. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences as a diplomat, policy advisor and public relations professional with other Freemen of the City of London of North America to further build relationships within a wide community of practice, which is devoted to encouraging scholarship and community service.” Frederick

Frederick W Russell-Rivoallan, BA, MSc, FRSA

 5. Brandy Dowdall

Brandy Dowdall, Vice President Operations, Markel, with 30 years of strategy, counsel, advocacy, negotiation, conflict management and dispute resolution, as well as people, project, risk and change management. Executive and professional with extensive counsel experience in both legal and management settings. Ms. Dowdall was called to the Ontario Bar in 1989. She received a B.A. With Distinction, from Mount Saint Vincent University and a law degree from Dalhousie Schulich School of Law. For over 25 years, Brandy  provided counsel related to insurance interests, with a focus on advising commercial and specialty lines and is skilled in a range of environments including private practice and carriers. 

Statement of Purpose
“I am so pleased to have recently joined The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America and I look forward to one day being accepted to the full ceremony at Guildhall, in the City of London itself.  I believe in being engaged and showing our children and grandchildren a good balance of maintaining strong traditions in life as well as celebrating independence of mind and innovation. We tread daily along a precipice of the most disruptive technologies ever known. Literally the human brain cannot comprehend today’s speed and scope of smart technology, big data, artificial intelligence and so on. But I believe with hearts and minds rooted in traditional philanthropic and mercantile endeavours, we can share a more human(e) sense of place and purpose and not be lost in sea of data. We can share and pass down rites, rituals and traditions – the best of all being to enjoy good and honourable company.” Brandy

Brandy Dowdall

6. Derwin Mak

Derwin Mak is an accountant (and CPA), currently at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. He has master's degrees in accounting and military history. He is also a St. John Ambulance volunteer and Officer of the Order of St. John and a member of the Monarchist League of Canada, the Royal Commonwealth Society, and the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada. He is the editor of The Chinese Armorial (, an online register of coats of arms of Chinese persons. Oddly, he has been Commander Pro Tempore (temporary commander) of the Kentucky Colonels Toronto Command for 10 years. Derwin also writes science fiction stories and has won two Aurora Awards, Canada's national award for science fiction writing.

Statement of Purpose 
“I joined because I like London, a city that is important to my interests in the monarchy, medieval history, philately (stamp collecting), and science fiction.

I hope to meet other people interested in London's history and current affairs, learn more about the city, and help promote the city to my fellow writers and science fiction fans as a centre of contemporary art and culture, not just as a museum. “ Derwin

Derwin Mak

7. Fadi Dawood

Fadi Dawood, is a Senior Research Fellow, NATO Association of Canada, and Sessional Lecturer, Lakehead University Orillia Campus. He is a historian of the modern Middle East, with a particular interest in minority communities of Iraq and Syria. His doctoral dissertation at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, examines the political and social lives of Iraq’s Assyrian community during the period of the British mandate.

Fadi is also the co-editor on a forthcoming book project that examines state-society relations in Iraq entitled “State-Society Relations in Iraq: Citizenship Under Occupation, Dictatorship and Democratization”

Fadi Dawood



In February we held a whisky tasting at the Caledonian pub on College Street. This is a small intimate gathering and it was sold out as usual.  Our Whisky sommelier David was very knowledgeable and made the evening interesting with his facts about the four whiskies that were tasted.  The food was excellent.



There were various more informal lunches one at the Queen and Beaver to celebrate the lead up to Christmas and two at a Fish and Chip restaurant in Brampton in March and April. The events, (Commonwealth Day Luncheon and The Tartan Day Lunch suggested by Hans Bathija, were in part to Honour Our Founding President, Captain Ray Gibson. Tartan Day is the annual celebration recognizing the contribution of Scots and their descendants in Canada held in April.



During Ishrani Jaikaran's year as Master of the Company, The Company is sought to secure a formal affiliation with a local Queen's Own Rifle (Toronto) regiment in order to continue the tradition of Freemen honouring the service that local regiments provide in protecting and preserving our freedoms and traditions.

The affiliations between Livery Companies and local U.K. based regiments in the City of London are based on certain objectives, to provide leadership by settings standards of excellence in trade and integrity in public life, brotherhood and charity and combining social conviviality with serious aims.

We believed that there were shared values and standards that both the Queen’s Own Rifles and The Honourable Company shared in common and could aim to achieve. A meeting was held between the Master and the QOR and our proposal was initially well received by majority of the Senate of the QOR at an internal meeting of theirs. We did receive communication from the Honourary Colonel of the Queen’s Own Rifle Canada and conversations continue. We are grateful to them for considering it as well as grateful for the efforts of PM Neil Purcel for "kindling" the process and Hans Bathija for “reviving” the process and the Master Ishrani for actively pursuing the issue.


Special Mention Courtesy of Ashley Prime, London Clerk
Paul Brundage  

Paul Brundage is the EVP and senior managing director who runs the Oxford Properties (OMERS) London office. He is a huge pillar of Canadian business in London and probably one of the best-known Canadians in London. Really good to see him get the Freedom on the City. He has been in London for a number of years and is one of the most respected Canadians working in the City.

Prior to joining Oxford, Paul worked with OMERS Realty Corporation and Borealis Real Estate Management Inc., Prudential of England and PricewaterhouseCoopers, in asset and portfolio management, leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, investment and development roles. He currently sits on the Board of the British Property Federation (BPF) as Vice President and chair their Policy Committee.

Laura Miller, Deputy Clerk, Paul Brundage, Ernie the Beadle

Laura Miller, Deputy Clerk, Paul Brundage, Ernie the Beadle

Paul Brundage and Ashley Prime, London Clerk

Frederick W Russell-Rivoallan,

Laura Miller, Deputy Clerk, Frederick W Russell-Rivoallan, Ernie the Beadle, Ashley Prime, London Clerk

Laura Miller, Deputy Clerk, Frederick W Russell-Rivoallan, Ernie the Beadle, Ashley Prime, London Clerk

Vicken Koundakjian – also received his Freedom of the City. 

Hearty congratulations and continued success to all recipients!



The Honourable Company’s charity has concluded its 5-year commitment to the University of Western Ontario in providing scholarships to students wishing to study in London, UK. Having completed the commitment the trustees deem the association with Western and the students to be a success and it’s now time to consider the future. The final scholar will embark on his program this fall concluding in the new year (2018).

Western was chosen due to its location in London Ontario and their ongoing interest in sponsoring students studying abroad. Over the years we experienced some issues due to distance and lack of connectivity between the Company and the University that were finally and successfully addressed in the concluding years of the commitment. This learning becomes part of our needs as we assess our steps in determining our next university association or in continuing with Western.

With this in mind the trustees under the leadership of Past Master, John Welch determined to reach out to the many Toronto based higher learning institutions to assess their interest in working with us in their student foreign study programs. As a result of the trustees enquiries presented to the Master and the Court it was decided that beginning in 2018 the Company Trust will now support the George Brown College, School of Arts and The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London in North America has committed $15,000 to support George Brown College students enrolled in the Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology, School of Fashion Studies.

The Scholarship, known as the The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London in North America Scholarship will be awarded to one student each year for the next three years in the amount of $5,000. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be enrolled in their last semester at the GBC School of Fashion studies and be accepted to attend a university in the United Kingdom to continue their studies abroad. Chosen students will exhibit a commitment and dedication to their area of professional study.

The decision was very warmly received by George Brown College. This scholarship is a renewal of our ongoing commitment to provide funding to qualified scholars to study in London. We are particularly pleased with our association with George Brown College as it speaks to the historic connections with the Worshipful Livery Companies in London dating back to medieval times, the City of London, and the Honourable Company of Freemen in North America. The trust will continue to rely upon the generosity of our members and the periodic events designed to achieve our goals.

Donation cheque from the Charitable Trust to George Brown College

Donation cheque from the Charitable Trust to George Brown College




The mediaeval regulations and ordinances for the governance of the Scriveners Company (as for all other Livery Companies) were to ensure the integrity in business, and the competence in practice, of those engaged in the craft thus strengthening their position and enhancing the confidence of members of the public using their services. Notaries appear as members of the Company from 1392 onwards, when it issued new ordinances to coincide with the appointment by the Archbishop of Canterbury as Papal Legate of laymen as papal and imperial notaries.

The early history of the Company was mainly concerned with its efforts to establish control over the practice of all those writing legal documents in London, especially conveyances of real property. On 12 January 1498 there was a further major revision of the ordinances, to regulate the Company's corporate and social life and, equally importantly, to require every apprentice to be tested before the Wardens to ensure satisfactory knowledge of grammar - an essential professional attribute. From 1558 onwards members of the Company, still small in numbers but increasing in wealth, were (again like all other Livery Companies) compelled by the Crown to contribute to loans to recoup the costs of the war which had resulted in England's loss of Calais. An account book of 1565 (the only document to survive the burning of Scriveners' Hall in 1666 apart from the Company's Common Paper 1357 – 1628, a compendium of its corporate annual activities and enrolments now preserved in the Guildhall Library Department of Manuscripts), shows that at this time the Company was paid annual Quarterage not only by its own Freemen and Liverymen but also by members of other Livery Companies. and by Freemen of the City of London, practicing as scriveners. Such persons acknowledged the authority of the Master, Wardens and Court of the Scriveners Company over "the Art or Mysterie of Scriveners", even though not themselves members of the Company.

By 12 March 1590 members of the Company were refusing to meet its quota to pay for armour, weapons, gunpowder and wheat for Her Majesty (Elizabeth I)'s service, and the Master and Wardens attended the Court of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen and were authorised to commit any Scrivener refusing to contribute, to a debtors' prison.

A new era opened with the securing by the "Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Society of Scriveners of London" of a Royal Charter of Incorporation from King James I on 28 January 1617. This, and the new ordinances made under its authority in 1635, greatly increased the Company's status (but probably - firm evidence is lacking - greatly depleted its finances). On 11 November 1634 the Company received a grant of arms, confirming the arms in use since circa 1530.

The Worshipful Company of Scriveners of the City of London recently celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of the granting of its Royal Charter by James 1 in January 1617.  

In January 2017, the Company held a special service of Thanksgiving at its Guild Church at St. Martin-within-Ludgate with a splendid white tie Livery dinner thereafter at the Stationers’ Hall.  The Very Reverend Dr. David Ison, Dean of St. Pauls’ gave the wonderful sermon and the principal guest and speaker was the former Lord Mayor, Sir Alan Yarrow.  The evening’s events were superb and all done in the presence of the vivacious Master Julia Hett.  

The photographs are of the Company and guests at dinner in the grand Stationer’s Hall and of Michele McCarthy being presented to the Master.

Stationer’s Hall and of Michele McCarthy being presented to the Master



PM John Welch

Past Master, John Welch was received into the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers

History of Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers.

The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers, awarded its first Royal Charter in 1670 and livery status in 1717, is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.

The most common pattens made since the 12th century in London and other European centres took the form of a shaped wooden platform with leather or cloth straps to hold the shoes upon it, and a cast-iron ring and uprights beneath.   In the 18th century pattens for elegant ladies were made to match their shoes in fine silk or embroidery.  Thus the trade embraced the skills of carpentry, leatherworking, blacksmithing and embroiders.

We know that we in the 14th Century the “patternmakers” merged with the “Ancient Mystery of Pouchemakers and Galochemakers, but it is assumed that many records were lost in the Great Fire, a fate common to the records of many other companies.

The ancient Guilds functioned as both upholders of quality and (it is assumed) of price at that early time, and after serving an apprenticeship of some seven years, the apprentice (who was effectively owned by, or certainly dependant on, his Master) would have prepared a test piece or pieces, his “Masterpiece” and in a “court” of those proficient in the craft, would have been approved (or not) and made “free of his trade”, and hence able to apply to the Aldermen for his “Freedom” both of the City and to practice first as a Freeman, and then, possibly after  a period of probation, as a full Liveryman.

As a Liveryman and Freeman of the City, he was able to participate fully in the elections of both Masters of his trade and in the elections of Aldermen, Common Councilmen and the Lord Mayor of the City, hence playing his part in what is the oldest continuous democracy in the world. These traditions still continue and play a major role in maintaining the City of London not only as a great trading centre, but as a non-political local authority providing high quality services to all who live and work in the great City of London.



Gerard Ezinwoke (Communications)

In 2017 under the direction of the Master Ishrani Jaikaran, a twitter account was opened up in an attempt to be more active with our “social media” presence. Members are encouraged to open up individual account and follow out twitter handle for news and activities updates from other Livery Companies as well as the City of London. The Master and the Court also re-designed the Company including a mission statement.



Copyrights © 2018. All rights reserved