WCIT MONITOR Issue 64 Feb 2015

Issue 64: Feb 2015 MONITOR the newsletter of The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists MASTER’S LETTER O ur excellent editor has just reminded me that I need to write an article for the next edition of MONITOR, and as we have just held the New Freemen’s Dinner, which was three months to the day since my Installation Dinner, it was a stark reminder that my time as your Master is already into my second quarter and how quickly the time is passing. The New Freemen’s Dinner, which was held at the magnificent Drapers’ Hall, was another glittering and memorable occasion. You can read more about this on pages 6 and 7. The start of a new year is always a good time to look back at what we have achieved in the past year and what we want to achieve going forward. Contributions to our Continuous Charitable Giving (CCG) scheme were £56K (plus 25% Gift Aid in most cases) in 2014, an increase of over 27% from 2013, with now nearly 20% of our members contributing regularly. Plus last year, in total, our Panels and Committees raised over £27K, an increase of over 67% from 2013. Your generosity has enabled us to increase our charitable donations significantly as well as continuing to donate more towards Eyegaze systems for Lifelites and our other supported Charities. We will now also be running the WCIT University Student IT Awards, which I just had the pleasure of being on the judging panel for this year’s first class entries. The first of these awards were presented to the winning students at the 11 th February Business Lunch. Also we are creating an IT professorship for Gresham College, whose lectures are viewed over the internet by a rapidly growing audience of currently over 3 million pa. Hammersmith Academy has now been open for over 4 years and its results and reputation in the local area continue to grow. In September this year, the Academy will be at its maximum intended capacity of about 800 students. Nicholas Birtles During 2014, as Senior Warden, I had the pleasure of chairing our Freedom Interviews for new members and I was very pleased to see the excellent quality of new members coming forward. All the candidates wanted to give something back and knew quite a lot about the City, the Livery and our Company’s achievements. It was also very good to see the candidate diversity in age, gender and ethnicity, which we have not monitored in the past but will be in future as part of the late Lord Mayor, Dame Fiona Woolf’s Diversity initiative, which our Company will be supporting. It was also very encouraging to see many of the new Freemen already becoming very active and contributing to our Company’s good works. (Photo: Gerald Sharp) Inside this issue: Master’s Letter 1 The Fellowship of Christmas 3 Introducing the WCIT Charity CCG Scheme 4 New Freemen’s Dinner 2015 6-7 IT Accessibility Panel News 8 Church Housing Trust 9 Education News 10 Clerk’s Letter 12 My first official function this year was to read the lesson at the Memorial Service for John Saysell, one of our Liverymen who had passed away, very unexpectedly, while he was working overseas in Florida. Nearly 100 attended a very moving service at our church, St Bartholomew the Great, followed by a reception in our Hall. John’s wife Carol was so appreciative of the support she received from the Company, as only a handful of John’s family and friends could attend the funeral in Florida. Carol will also become a Companion of our Company and plans to attend some of our events, such as the Nostalgia Lunch, to keep in touch with John’s many friends in our Company. This reminded me that joining our Company is not just for life, but that the benefits can sometimes extend beyond that. Now that the Christmas & New Year break is over, the list of events that I am invited to is increasing. It is a real privilege to hear how well our Company is regarded by the many other Masters and Wardens that I meet at these events and it makes me feel proud, but at the same time very humble, to be your Master and I look forward to continuing to represent you as best I can for the rest of my year.