Canterbury 231026

The President and the County Chair

On Thursday October 26, the Association's President, The Lady Colgrain, spoke to a meeting of the Canterbury Branch about her role as His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for Kent. She discussed the history of the office, which dates back to the mid-1500s, and the importance of its role in the defence of the country, from reporting on the progress of the Spanish Armada through to preparing for a possible Napoleonic invasion. In spite of loosing the power to summon the militia in the 1920s, Lord-Lieutenants have maintained close contact with the armed forces, particularly the reserves and cadets.

The Lady Colgrain described the important role that the office now has in the life of the county. As the Sovereign’s official representative in Kent, she acts as a link between the people of Kent and the King, and hosts visits by members of the Royal Family to the county. But she has many other duties, which range from chairing the advisory committee on the appointment of justices of the peace to presenting various awards and attending numerous events. All of this makes it a near full-time job.

She mentioned, also, the important role that the Deputy Lieutenants, of which there are around 70, play. She emphasised that she saw the DLs as providing a connection to the various communities, and with this in mind she had been working to enhance the diversity of representation.

This was the President’s first official involvement with the Association, as for much of the time since her appointment activities have been restricted by concerns about Covid. It provided an opportunity to meet Members from Canterbury as well as from other Branches, including Medway and Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, which were in attendance. The County Chair, who was also there, took this opportunity to discuss with her the changes in the Association and her role going forward.

With the removal of government restrictions imposed in response to concerns about the coronavirus, it is to be hoped that there can be a resumption of Association and Branch activities. However, it is recognised that it is necessary for people to remain cautious and, consequently, it may be prudent to limit or cancel any scheduled event, possibly on short notice. All plans should, therefore, be considered as tentative and Members should check before travelling to any activity or event.