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The Master’s Voice

A personal perspective on our activities and developments within Greater Bristol from the Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers.

The Master’s Voice – March 2014

The miserable start to the year in terms of the weather that we have all had to endure has been robustly offset by the inspiring achievements of the schools that the Society supports – their achievements have gone a long way to raise my spirits. Education is incredibly important to the Merchant Venturers. We believe that it is vital that we give our young people the very best possible start…
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The Master’s Voice – December 2013

LOOKING BACK ON 2013 Christmas is a very special time in the Merchant Venturers’ calendar. I am enjoying attending carol concerts and seasonal celebrations with pupils and staff at the schools and residential homes for older people that we support in Bristol. This is a time to reflect on what has been achieved over the past year and to look forward to the opportunities and challenges in the year ahead.…
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The Master’s Voice – November 2013

Charter Day is the great day of celebration of the history of the Society of Merchant Venturers and it is also the day on which the offices of the Society change. Three new members join the Standing Committee, the executive Board, in place of retirees, and a Junior Warden is elected who is expected in successive years to become Senior Warden and then Master. The magnificent service at Bristol Cathedral,…
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The Master’s Voice – August 2013

Merchant Venturers are involved in so many different aspects of life in Bristol, helping to make a difference. In 1997, our Junior Warden, Chris Curling, was instrumental in establishing the Underfall Yard Trust to take over and restore derelict parts of this boatyard in Bristol’s historic harbour. It raised over £1m to restore the buildings and slipway and now runs a thriving boat yard. In August, the Society will announce…
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The Master’s Voice – June 2013

Education has been close to the hearts of Merchant Venturers for at least 400 years — archival records show that they were running a school for the children of mariners as early as 1595. In the 21st century, nothing is more important to the Society than seeing Bristol’s education system become one associated with high levels of achievement. This is reflected in our increasing involvement with local schools – and…
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The Master’s Voice – April 2013

It is now almost five months since Charter Day and my becoming Master of the Merchant Venturers. It is a fascinating journey that is strengthening my understanding of the Society and my pride in all that it contributes to the community. I believe that we need to work even harder in building understanding of the work that we do and the nature of our organisation amongst the community in our…
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The Master’s Voice – February 2013

I’d like to begin by wishing all visitors to The Master’s Voice a Happy New Year. I’m hopeful that 2013 will bring new direction and progress for Bristol. The economic downturn has resulted in significant unemployment and there are areas of Bristol in which third generation unemployment is still accepted as an inevitable way of life. There is a real need for positive action, to create jobs and boost the…
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The Master’s Voice – December 2012

  Having officially taken over the mantle as Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers on 12 November at Charter Day, this marks my first Master’s Voice blog. I plan to use this platform to offer a personal insight into my activities as Master, and to provide regular updates on the Society’s many charitable, educational and enterprise interests within the city. The biggest event in the city in recent weeks…
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The Master’s Voice – October 2012

                      It is October, and my year as Master of the Society is drawing to a close. Charter Day and all of its great celebration is set to take place on Monday 12 November and will see the passing of the torch to incoming Master Peter Rilett. Charter Day marks an important milestone in the history of the society, as…
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The Master’s Voice – August 2012

Our members have always been out and about in Bristol, helping to make things happen. Over 25 years ago, Merchants took a leading role in setting up what is now the Quartet Community Foundation operating throughout what used to be Avon.  We provided seedcorn money, energy and enthusiasm to get it going. The Foundation now has over £16million and growing capital funds and makes grants of more than £2.5million each…
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