Stephen Bernhard, Executive Chairman of Bernhard and Company has taken over from HRH The Earl of Wessex as Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
During the Installation Court meeting held at Stationer’s Hall in the City of London on 3rd July, HRH The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO installed Stephen Bernhard as Master of The Worshipful Company of Gardeners, one of the 110 Livery Companies of the City dating back to 1345.
During the celebration dinner, as the new Master, he presented HRH The Earl of Wessex, with his Past Master badge after making a speech to the Company where he outlined the achievements of the Royal Master during his year in office.
Stephen has been involved with The Worshipful Company of Gardeners since 1983 and follows in the footsteps of his father, Jeffrey.
The Worshipful Company of Gardeners
Trade and craft associations known as guilds or livery companies flourished all over Europe for centuries but the City of London companies, now collectively known as the Livery, are unique in their survival, number and diversity.
Today’s livery companies are living institutions whose activities have been commended by successive Royal Commissions and whose liverymen assemble in Common Hall to carry out important functions in the elections of the City’s government and some of the officers.
Livery companies have proud history and traditions. Their survival has been achieved by doing what they have always done: fostering their professions, crafts and trades in a wide context, serving the community, supporting the City of London and promoting modern skills and professional development.
Asked about his progression to become Master, Stephen Bernhard replied, “Essentially you are asked if you are willing to serve on The Court and there follows a series of interviews during the selection process, after which one is voted for by the rest of the court members. There then follows a period of between eight and twelve years of progression and then one may be elected to serve as a warden and ultimately as the Master.”
“It is a huge honour to be Master of one of the City liveries. It’s an amazing privilege and one that I hold very dear.” Stephen continued. “The 780 Lord Mayors of the City of London have all progressed in this way – the only way to become Lord Mayor, serving the City.”
The commitments of the Master are demanding. As well as ceremonial duties, supporting the Mayoralty and formal connections with the Royal family, Government and City authorities, the Master focuses on the horticultural trade in the widest sense.
The early companies protected customers, employers and employees by checking standards of work, quality of goods, weights and measures, and imposed severe penalties on those who broke the rules. They controlled imports and immigrant labour, set wages and working conditions. They trained the young and looked after members in sickness and old age.
Bernhard Grinders helps greenkeepers; owners and operators cultivate consistent, healthy turf. Private, public and resort golf courses realize top and bottom-line benefits from their precise cut, ease of use, reliability, environmental friendliness, safety-first design, value proposition, industry-best 10-year warranty and more.
Bernhard Grinders www.bernhard.co.uk