On the evening of Wednesday 28th November 2018, the WCOSP Young Members hosted a holiday fête at the Ye Olde Watling pub which included drinks, savory bites and a festive surprise or two. I, Devon Johnson, a second year History and International Relations student at King’s College, University of London, had the privilege of attending the event as a guest. As a student interested in joining the Company as either a member or apprentice, I would like to share with you readers – students or professionals, already existing or new members, and those of you who wish to know more about this revered organization – my thoughts and experiences in a brief account of the event.
It was hosted in the small, intimate Sir Christopher Wren dining room, which was cozy and filled with a buzzing energy of Company members who flitted about from group to group acquainting and reacquainting themselves with each other. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by Tilly Sherwood, a gracious hostess who offered to introduce me to some of the members, an offer which instantly put me at ease and made me feel most welcome. Over the course of the evening I was introduced and had the pleasure of getting to know security professionals, both aspiring and veterans, who were splendid company and kept lively conversation. I spoke with so many wonderful individuals who were keen to hear about my studies, my future goals, and likewise, it was wonderful to learn more about the industry and gain advice and perspective. Today, it is difficult to find a helping hand, let alone people who freely extend theirs in a sincere and open gesture; there were numerous people who were willing to share their experiences and their work with me, even offering to one day give me a tour and inside look into what they do.
Yet, the most enjoyable part of the evening for me was listening to Ray Williams recite Twas the Night Before Christmas which harkened back to the halcyon days of when I was a child and on every Christmas Eve, my mother would read to my sister and me the very same poem. I do not recall if we had visions of ‘sugar plums’ in our head, most likely hopes of many gifts from Santa, but hearing that poem again certainly made me feel at home during this holiday season despite being a few thousand miles away from home in Atlanta, Georgia. After a bit of reindeer games, we all returned to meeting new people and talking away. The night concluded with a wish of most that we had a bit longer, but alas, the room was only to be ours until 22:00.
I left the party, however, with more than a few new contacts in my cell phone. I often feel that we are so easily wrapped up in the how and the when that we lose sight of the importance of why. Yet, Master Phillip Hagon QPM reminded the members of the core mission of the Company: charity – we are all here to give back to the community. And already, just as a guest, I have been a recipient of such generosity; the openness, hospitality, willingness and eagerness of all members to impart on me wisdom, anecdotes, mentorship and an invitation into such a unique
community has been a rewarding experience for which I extend my gratitude to the Company (and to Hugh Pickering-Carter, for I would not have attended this event without his invitation!). And even the money from the tickets to attend the holiday party was contributing to the mission of charity which is what the ‘season of giving’ is all about. The best way to understand what the Company does is to attend the events and meet the people who are what make the Company so special. It would be an honor to one day become a member of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals; but I can say without a doubt that the truest honor is having the privilege of knowing such a kind-hearted and magnificent group of people, whilst in the process giving back to the city of London, my new home.
Guest of the WCoSP