Early in 2013, I was contacted by Deacon Convener David Parkinson, who asked me to consider becoming Patron to the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen. Although I know of the Seven Incorporated Trades, I had no idea what was involved in being the Patron. David visited me in my home and gave me a very interesting description both of the Incorporated Trades and the role of Patron, inviting my wife Christine and myself to have a tour round Trinity Hall. If my mind wasn’t made up before that visit, it certainly was by the time we had been given the opportunity to see the Hall. “Yes”, I replied, “it would be a privilege to be appointed Patron to the Seven Incorporated Trades”.
I was duly installed as the 28th Patron at a ceremony in Trinity Hall on 26th March 2013, attended by members of the Seven Trades. The welcome was warm and friendly, and this has remained the case throughout my 18 months as Patron.
So what does the Patron do?
Well, there are official duties such as presiding at the annual Convener Court Election and leading the Convener Court at Official Functions such as the Kirking of the Council at Kirk of St. Nicholas and the Kirking at King’s College Chapel. There is also the short Remembrance Day Service at Trinity Hall at which I officiate. Particularly important also is getting to know members of the Seven Trades, visiting some of the widows, visiting members in hospital when requested; that is, a pastoral role offering friendship, encouragement and a listening ear to any who may require some support. (more…)