Our Thanksgiving Court, Service, and Luncheon on 12 June went from Trinity House to All Hallow’s Church and back again. It was well-attended, particularly as so many people were heading to Dublin for five days the following morning. Andrew Turner and Prem Goyal took the livery at Trinity House. In the church, our Vicar, the Rev’d Sophia Acland, delivered an extremely relevant sermon on trade issues and thanks. I was touched by our wonderful choir, led by Mary Hardy, helping us belt out “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory”, a personal favourite of mine with USA connections. Then we processed back to Trinity House for a wonderful lunch and a short presentation, again part of our Technology & Trade theme. Our speaker was the charming and talented Bushra Burge who told us what it’s like to be a minority woman working in hi-tech & haptic fabrics. We left ready for Dublin the next day, where we began singing again that night.
Part of our Company’s tradition is to sing Oh Trinity of Love and Power at the end of our annual Thanksgiving Service. Liveryman and past Clerk Nigel Pullman kindly submitted this explanation of why we sing the verse:
“The answer is as simple as it is personal. When a RMA Sandhurst cadet for two years in my youth, EVERY Sunday we were marched to chapel to attend morning service. It was compulsory, and OD’s (other denominations) remained formed up in their ranks outside, unless they decided that it was easier to become CofE for an hour inside. And at the end of every service, whilst remaining kneeling, we always sang that verse. Don’t ask me why. But this link confirms my memory, though offers no explanation.
“Vaguely counter-intuitive, as it is traditionally a naval/maritime hymn, but I much grew to like it. Indeed we sang the verse, as a prayer, at my wedding, and then I introduced it to the WT Thanksgiving Service – where happily it has remained. It makes good sense given the well rehearsed links twixt world trade and our maritime tradition, and as Michael has pointed out, the happy link also with Trinity, our traditional post service lunch being in the eponymous House.
“I mention all this partly to record this little bit of WT tradition, but also to say that the intention was always to be still kneeling and sing the verse ‘as a prayer’. Not standing as we did yesterday.”
A small change back to kneeling next year seems in order.