Assistant clerk to Butchers’ livery retires
Geraldine Cavener, assistant clerk to the Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB) retired recently after 15 years service with the livery.
She joined the Livery in March 2003, as assistant to the Clerk replacing the much admired Lindsey Jones.
Since then she has been the assistant to two Clerks and 16 Masters, managing at least two diaries, and balancing the many competing requests for their time or presence.
Her principal responsibility was the smooth running of the Court and, like any process that runs well, the complexities of pulling together all the sub-committees, correctly convening the Court meetings and then recording its transactions only become apparent when something goes wrong.
Current Master, Tim Dumenil, said: “One of the great strengths of the City’s Livery system is the maintenance of traditions which unite past and present in a special way. This can only happen if protocol is followed and correct procedures maintained while aligning to the many requirements imposed by the City of London Corporation. To new members of the Livery they may often seem strange to the point of being arcane but collectively they all add up to making the Livery companies as very special as they are. One of Geraldine’s challenges has been to ensure these traditions are carefully maintained whether that’s the correct method of admitting a new Liveryman or simply ensuring that an invitation to a Bishop follows the advice of Debretts and Correct Form.
“I’m thrilled that the Court agreed unanimously that Geraldine be made an Honorary Liveryman at the first possible opportunity and I am sure we can do that at a Court meeting in September.”
In a thank you letter for her retirement gifts from liverymen Cavener said: “I have been totally overwhelmed by all your generosity.
“The camaraderie of the Livery is so special, especially at Court lunches, Christmas and charity events.
“Who would have thought I would have been robing HRH The Princess Royal or dancing with the present Master at a Ladies Banquet to an Elvis impersonator!”