Toastmasters in the City of London

News & SocietyNews

  • Author Vivien Robbins
  • Published April 21, 2011
  • Word count 409

Ever since Norman era, the "Square Mile" or "City" of London has been the capital's centre for commercial activities and worldwide fiscal dealings. The City is a democratic self-governing entity with its own mayor and is deep in history, tradition, and what can be seen as usual formal practices.

One such practice is that the Toastmaster does not put on a red tailcoat, as an alternative he wears a black one. It is believed that the cause for this is that traditionally, a foxhunt could not pass through the city streets and Toastmaster's red coats are reminiscent of mounted foxhunters, it is preferable that the toastmaster retains a less ostentatious appearence. Conversely, this guiding principle leads to a problem of identity. A Toastmaster's work in the city is inevitable at Mansion House (quarters of the mayor) or Guildhall or any of the 40 Livery Halls where official celebrations are normally held, frequently with members of the royal family, government and Heads of State in attendance. Regularly guests at such functions will be dressed in white tie and black tails, equally the Toastmaster, who will no longer be identifiable by his red jacket. A tasteful answer was created where Toastmasters would have a red and white sash over his right shoulder, which represents the colours of the City of London's coat of arms. This way, he stands out, although sometimes he gets confused with the Polish Ambassador!

City Toastmasters demand a superior extent of familiarity and protocol than if they were performing further than the City of London. There are scores of fine differences in procedure, for instance, further than the city when introducing a guest spokesman with a post-nominal (eg OBE), the Toastmaster would state "Pray silence for John Smith, an officer of the most excellent Order of the British Empire," but in the City, the Toastmaster only says "Pray silence for John Smith."

One more case is how the Loyal Toast ("The Queen!") Is introduced. Out of the City of London, the Toastmaster would bring into play his gavel and remark: "Would you all please stand... And... Pray silence for the Chairman who will now propose the Loyal Toast".

In the city when we make this period in the meal (ahead of coffee is served) the Toastmaster just taps his gavel three times, not talking at all, and the host will stand and pronounce: "The Queen!" Which will be followed by all guests standing up and repeating the exclamation.

Having an event in London, whether it is a corporate event, wedding or banquet, why not search for "toastmasters London" in your favourite search engine. You'll be surprised how helpful a toastmaster can be for your event.

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