On Monday 31st October, by happenstance All Hallows Eve, a large group of Phoenix Masters and their consorts launched the Association with a reception. Chairman Mark Chambers hosted this at Pewterers’ Hall. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress and the late Sheriffs Alderman Charles Bowman and Christine Rigden all attended.
In a brief welcoming address, Mark thanked his Committee, now 15 strong, and particularly the officers who have all worked hard to get things off the ground. Response has been excellent with already 95 members signed up. Mark expects that this will soon exceed 100.
The Lady Mayoress then announced that with just a few days left of the Lord Mayor’s year they were just £100,000 short of the target for his Appeal. She asked everyone for their help in closing the gap.
The Committee had met before the reception to start planning events for next year. We expect to hold a black-tie dinner for all members and their consorts, probably in the Spring. We also plan to have a lunch or dinner for members only to coincide with the AGM, probably in September. These dates will be firmed up as soon as possible and when venues are booked.
The results of the Phoenix PMA engagement survey were very helpful. There were 55 replies which by any standard is very good for a polling of this nature and speaks highly of people’s desire to engage with the Association. Furthermore the results are relatively clear (large majorities in most cases for the preferred option) and give a very good feel for what the majority view is:
The main conclusions are:
- Appetite for a couple of social events a year (i.e. on top of the AGM and formal dinner) but not more;
- A desire to be with the Firebirds but not dominate them – some events should be for just Phoenix and some for just Firebirds;
- A fairly London-centric Association with some, albeit limited, appetite for events that require a night away (every few years or so, not every year);
- A range of interests and enough people volunteering to help with the planning and administration.
The event was both enjoyable and a successful launch of the Association.