Our meeting on Wednesday 06 December 2023 saw a visit from the Deputy Lieutenant for Harrow, and the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder & Autism Centre (ADHDAC).
To be absolutely clear, there were two completely separate reasons for these visits! Chief Superintendent Simon Evans DL FCML was visiting to speak to the Club about the role and work of the Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Harrow. Two representatives from ADHDAC, Teresa and Gemma, visited the Club in order to receive a significant cheque from last year’s Club President now that our Treasurer has sorted the previous problems accessing our Club Charity Fund (see below).
The Club then voted to support the Salvation Army in Harrow this Christmas (amongst other local charities) and voted to support an outgoing Youth Exchange Student for a year of study overseas. Sadly we were told that the planned meal on 03 January 2024 in a Chinese Restaurant is going to have to be rearranged.
It was then Simon Ovens who took the floor addressing the Club on the details of the Deputy Lieutenancy in the London Borough of Harrow. He spoke about the origins of the Lord Lieutenant back in the time of King Henry VIII, and the 4 tasks that were set for him: Quelling Riots; Raising an Army; Appointing Magistrates; and Raising Taxes. Today, all of these tasks have been reassigned, and the role is largely ceremonial.
With one Lord Lieutenant for London and its 10 million people, it was felt necessary to have Deputies, and there are now more than 100 Deputy Lieutenants in London (including one Rotarian!). There are two uniforms for a Deputy Lieutenant, one including sword and spurs!
The Deputy Lieutenants serve all of London, but some are assigned to represent individual boroughs. Their job is principally to link the place in London to the Palace, They take precedence over the Mayor in the Borough when Royalty is present in a borough. Simon described his role during the Lying in State and Funeral of the late Queen, and the role he performed in the Coronation of King Charles III.
This was a fascinating talk that led to many questions from the members and visitors.