In the spring of 1975
- US citizens were evacuated from Saigon shortly before it surrendered to the North Vietnamese army;
- The Conservative Party had just elected Margaret Thatcher as its first woman leader;
- Charlie Chaplin was knighted;
- "Jaws" was one of the top-grossing films;
- Arthur Ashe won Wimbledon and Tiger Woods was born;
- On 1 April 1975 the Guild of Marketors was "launched";
- In October HRH the Duke of Edinburgh accepted Honorary Membership;
- On 1 April 1976 the first service of dedication took place at St Bride's Church.
Thirty five years after the Guild's foundation, the Marketors continue to take a long-term perspective, which means honouring the past, celebrating the present and cultivating the future.
This is an occasion for honouring five of the Founder Members of the Guild who remain members of the Marketors today. They are Past Masters: Ron Edwards, Austin Nunn, Harry Druce and Norman Boakes, and Liveryman Willie Seeman. On behalf of the Company, I send them our thanks and salutations.
Let us also celebrate the fact that we are 35 years young this week. If this was a wedding anniversary the traditional symbol would be coral and the modern symbol, jade. With or without ornamental stones, perhaps we can now say we are in our prime.
As for the future, we hope to receive our Royal Charter later this year - a milestone which recognises the coming-of-age of the Marketors - and we are starting a project to explore the direction the Company should take in changing economic and social times. (For more on the Charter see our website at the bottom of the About Us section. http://www.marketors.org/aboutmarketors.asp?m_pid=0&m_nid=35348)
I hope all of you, as today's Freemen and Liverymen of the Company, are enjoying our modern manifestation of the Livery heritage. 11 May sees our (34th) annual service at St Bride's: it is an opportunity for us to express our support for the long-term values and aims of the Company in an atmosphere of reflection, thoughtfulness and hope.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible then, at the Spring Lunch on 13 April, or at another of our events. (Details of these, together with useful information on how to get involved in the Company, FAQs on protocol etc. can be found in the Members' Directory.)
With greetings to you all for Easter and on the occasion of this special anniversary.
Other events from 1975: Gerald Ford was US President; the first live radio transmissions took place from the House of Commons; Mohammed Ali beat Joe Frazier - the "Thrilla in Manila"; Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton married for the second time; Franco's 36 year rule in Spain came to an end; North Sea oil began to flow; the Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts came into effect.
Number One hits included: the Bay City Rollers with "Bye Bye Baby"; Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man"; 10CC's "I'm Not in Love"; Rod Stewart's "Sailing"; Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". A vintage musical year!