An abridged version of a speech given by the Founder Master Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards at the 20th Anniversary banquet in the City Hall Cardiff on June 8th 2013 describing the establishment of the Welsh Livery Guild, later becoming the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales and extracts from papers written by Squadron Leader Charles Slatter.
Founder Master - Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards, KCVO, GCStJ RD RNR
In November 1990, 148 Welsh men and women who were members London Livery Companies were invited to a meeting in Cardiff at which it decided to form the Welsh Livery Guild as a specially authorized Friendly Society which would be organized to follow the procedures, customs and practices of London Livery Companies.
Whilst London Livery Companies tended to foster a single trade or profession, it was decided that the Welsh Livery Guild would not be so restricted but would encompass all trades and professions as was to be known as the Welsh Livery Guild – the Honorable Society for Arts, Science and Technology.
The first Court meeting of the Welsh Livery Guild was held on 15th January 1993 in Cardiff when 8 members were sworn in by Dr David Townsley–Hughes, Master of the Scientific Instrument Makers and Founder Clerk of the Welsh Livery Guild.
The inaugural dinner was held at the Park Hotel Cardiff when the Principal Guest was Alderman Sir Bryan Jenkins. Former Lord Mayor of London.
The numbers of Members sworn in increased and by 17th July 1993, 126 Members had been admitted and by the end of 1993, 150 members had been admitted.
In 1996, the Coat of Arms was received, presented by Mr Henry Paston-Bedingfield (now Sir Henry Bedingfield York Herald, later Norroy and Ulster King of Arms.
The arms comprise the red kite once only found in Wales, it carries a scroll bearing the message Meithrin Dawn (nurturing talent), the three stars representing Arts, Science and Technology, a book indicating knowledge. The Welsh Dragon the supporter on the Dexter side represents the emblem of Wales and the British Lion the supporter on the sinister side with the Mitre of the Bishop of St Davids on his head as a link with the Patron Saint of Wales.
The motto is contained in the Coat of Arms and is Gwasanaeth Er Bydd Cymru, Service for the Benefit of Wales.
The Welsh Livery Guild was pleased when HRH the Prince of Wales consented to become an Honorary Freeman and was duly sworn in at a special Court held in 1994.
Above all else, The Welsh livery Guild was established for the purpose of promoting education, science and technology and in particular the promotion of skills and associated professional activities in Wales and to develop the talents of young people throughout Wales. The Guild set up a Charitable Trust Fund, the income of which is used to make awards to young people throughout Wales.
In 1996, a scheme was introduced by the Master Mr Bryan Marsh for Liverymen to contribute £10 per month to the Charitable account. Together with investment income, donations from external funds such as London Livery Companies the amount given in awards, travel scholarships and bursaries (in 2013 / 4) was approximately £40,000 per year. The objective is to enhance that giving over time.
In 2010, it was agreed by Court led by Master Lady Roisin Pill DL that the Guild should seek a Royal Charter. The mammoth task took 3 years over the span of three Masters, Lady Pill, Mr Stuart Fletcher OBE and Professor Ron Eccles. The application process was lengthy and required the expert assistance. We revised our governance, our bye-laws and amended our ordinances and customs and procedures. It was a mammoth task overseen and coordinated by our Clerk Squadron Leader Charles Slatter.
On 15 May 2013, the then Welsh Livery Guild was granted a Royal Charter of Incorporation by Her Majesty the Queen in Privy Council at Buckingham Palace. The Charter took legal affect when sealed by the Crown Office in the House of Lords on 6 September 2013. The Guild was granted the title of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales.
The Company celebrated the granting of the Royal Charter of Incorporation on 7 June 2014 at a church service at our Livery Church St John the Baptist and a banquet at the City Hall Cardiff. The Royal Charter was presented to the Master Mr Windsor Coles OBE by Her Majesty’s representative the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan Dr Peter Beck.
The celebration of the granting of the Royal Charter is recorded in a superb book - A Celebration of the Granting of the Royal Charter to The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales ISBN 978 – 1 – 903529-24 – 9.
The work of the Company continues with ambitious plans to grow membership and charitable giving.