PME Philip Morrish Chartered MCSI – My Year as Master

Master 2016-2017

Our Master’s year, like that of our predecessors, and indeed, those of our successors, was extremely busy, unique, and thoroughly enjoyable.

I say ‘our’ because no Master can successfully complete and enjoy their year without the full support of their Mistress or Consort. In my case, my Mistress was my wife, Angie. She and I embraced City civic social life with gusto.

We both hold a philosophy that the more you put into anything, especially a philanthropic entity like The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners (‘WCEC’), the more you will receive in return, and that has proven true over the years since our Master’s year because our lives have not slowed down.

However, a Master’s year is not solely about eating and drinking while representing WCEC in exclusive venues (Buckingham Palace, Mansion House, Central Criminal Court [Old Bailey], Royal Army Medical Corp’s medal room, etc.) and meeting significant people (members of the Royal family, The Lord Mayor and other Lord Mayors, Sheriffs, various Bishops, the Judiciary, etc.) but managing WCEC to ensure its longer-term growth while not losing its warm and welcoming character.

One of the enjoyable roles was interviewing new candidates, most of whom, like our most committed members, share the following common traits – a desire to give back to the industry and society generally, active support for charity, and a fascination with history. Many have become firm friends.

As mentioned earlier, WCEC, like the other livery companies, is a philanthropic organisation with a particular industry focus, in our case ‘environmental cleaning’. It should come as no surprise that anyone joining a philanthropic organisation is expected to regularly contribute to WCEC’s Charitable Trust and, when the opportunity presents itself, to give of your time.

There were many highlights during our Master’s year, but the following personally stood out. I was lunching with the Central Criminal Court Judges (aka Old Bailey) as the guest of Sheriff Christine Rigden. Christine and I enjoyed a social glass of champagne before the lunch with the Judges, in part because all Judges lunches are alcohol free.

I was seated with His Honour Judge John Bevan KC, who asked whether I was related to the barrister and prolific legal author, Peter Morrish. [Judge Ian McLean and my late father jointly wrote the legal bibles for the Crown Court (Appeals and Sentencing Procedures) and The Trial of Breathalyser Offences: A Practitioner’s Index of Practice and Procedure] as well as many other works. I replied instantly, ‘yes, he was my father’. Judge Bevan then announced to all at the table, who I was, and with the ice fully broken an enjoyable lunch ensued with many sharing amusing legal tales. All the Judges were my late father’s contemporaries and reminded me how small our world is.

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