The 2022 Lord Mayor’s Platinum Jubilee Big Curry Lunch was held at Guildhall on 7th April. The Mayor had set an ambitious fund-raising target that was well and truly smashed.
The Co-Chairman of the event, Michael Hockney has provided this report.
It was so good to see nearly 1,500 guests and volunteers having a wonderful time in Guildhall for the 2022 Lunch, after the two years when Covid 19 prevented us from gathering in that historic setting.
The atmosphere was terrific. The Livery stalls were heaped with good things to buy. Our band of authors were kept busy signing their latest books.
The Champagne Bars did a roaring trade as everyone tucked into delicious Pol Roger champagne and hoped to win Susannah Lovis’s fabulous diamond and gold pendant.
Similarly the Cocktails Bars, where two far-too-easy to drink cocktails, designed by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress and mixed by the expert team from the Coq d’Argent Restaurant, offered a chance to win a Pinchbeck bespoke British-made watch.
Then followed three lunch sittings, with an array of delicious curries from Noon Foods, backed by specially-selected wines from Private Cellar and lots of that smooth Cobra beer.
There was excellent music, much of it with a Royal connection, from a Royal Marines Band in the Great Hall and from three young musicians who were prize winners from the Musicians Company in the Livery Hall and East Crypt.
All of us marking the extraordinary service and dedication of Her Majesty The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee Year.
How lovely it was to have two of Her Majesty’s grandchildren with us, the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who spent time talking with veterans that we have supported and their families. Their Royal Highnesses really enjoyed the occasion and went home with some lovely gifts from the Livery Companies for their children.
As we looked round the Old Ballroom in the Mansion House on the occasion of the Lord Mayor’s Post-Lunch Reception on the evening of 19th May, the Lord Mayor and I could see so many of those who has helped ensure that this Platinum Jubilee Lunch was such a great occasion, including:
- our sponsors and supporters at all levels, but particularly the representatives of our principal sponsor, Phoenix
- the seventy Livery Companies that supported in a variety of ways with great generosity; running stalls, sponsoring veterans, giving prizes, making donations and bringing large groups of members
- senior members of the Corporation of the City of London, who are to be thanked for allowing us the use of Guildhall
- our hard-working Committee members
- the Gardeners Livery Company that, back in late January, designed and planted the garden in Guildhall Yard which was a tribute to The Queen
- the prize givers, who donated an amazing array of seventy prizes for the On Line & Silent Auction and for the Draw
- the teams from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Remembrancer’s Office and the Mansion House team
- the volunteers who did such an efficient job.
The Lord Mayor and I are very grateful.
At the Lunch, I think we saw the City at its best: its generosity and philanthropy; the coming together of the business and professional community united behind a really worthy cause; the Livery Companies showing both their traditional skills and their support for charitable causes.
And what better cause than to help veterans, after a career of service to our country, prepare for as resilient and secure life as possible in the civilian world, through the Pain Management Programme at the King Edward VII Hospital and the programmes run by LifeWorks. Both focusing on their role in helping veterans prepare for employment and both being transformational for the veterans and for their families.
Towards the end of the Reception, the Lord Mayor announced how much had been raised. He had set a stiff target of £270,000 back at the start of his Mayoral Year – of course the number had to include ’70’ in it!
We beat the target by a considerable margin and raised the highest-ever figure in the history of the Lunch: £310,000
Thank all of you for what you have done to make the Platinum Jubilee Lunch such a success, irrespective of how much we have raised. Yes, the funds we raise are so important, but so too is building an understanding of what the Armed Forces of the Crown are called upon to do and how we can all support those members of the veteran community and their families who need our help.
Junior Warden, The Musicians Company
Co-Chairman, The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch
After the speeches at the Reception on 19th May, there was an unexpected surprise for the Lord Mayor. He was presented with a Platinum Jubilee Medal, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, by the Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, a member of the Curry Lunch Committee.