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In our June print issue of Professioanl Security magazine, we left our regular contributor Una Riley at the Carlton Club with Gerald Moor of consultancy Inkerman.
We discussed the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP) at length. Gerald Moor was very animated as he explained: “I feel passionately about the WCoSP. Whilst there are many memorable moments associated with the company, as far as I am concerned one of those special times was when Michael Schmitt, the head of security for RWE AG (the German electric power and natural gas public utility company based in Essen) became a Freeman of the company. In fact Michael became the first German in his own right, after Helmut Kohl, to become a Freeman of the City of London.” There was a difference in that Helmut Kohl was awarded Honorary Freedom (or Freedom Honoris Causa) of the City of London in 1998. However, ordinary Freemen apply for the freedom themselves and usually pay a ‘fine’ for this, people who are bestowed with honorary status do not apply for, but are invited by the Court of Common Council to receive, the Freedom. As such, it is the highest honour which is in the power of the City of London to bestow. Their presentation ceremony usually takes place in the Great Hall of the Guildhall before the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Common Councilmen and invited guests. The presentation on these occasions is made by the Chamberlain of London, and is usually followed by a Guildhall or Mansion House banquet.
Gerald went on to discuss further the European involvement with the Livery movement. I explained that when I was a member of Euralarm (on behalf of the BSIA) I had informed my colleagues at the time of the benefits associated with modern trade guilds and Livery Companies. In fact on one occasion I invited leading European security colleagues including delegates from Siemens and Bosch to visit the Tower of London to witness the Ceremony of the Keys. I recall one of them saying: “After 700 years and they still use keys … have they not heard of access control”? Whilst they joked about our traditions they actually admired them. Gerald went on to say: “Already the WCoSP is being talked about at the highest level in Germany due to the involvement of our Freemen working in Europe.” We started to discuss other areas of the world that the WCoSP has become known, such as the USA. One of our Overseas Honorary Freeman is Bonnie Michelman who is the director of police, security and outside services at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Bonnie was also a former president of the American Society for Industrial Security International (ASIS). Gerald was very interested in talking about overseas membership and affiliation to the WCoSP. As the now recently installed Middle Warden of the WCoSP he has an eye to the future regarding the company. He said: “I very much remember when I was brought in as a Freeman it was such a fantastic personal experience. I was speaking to one of the other people that were being inducted at the same time and we agreed how special it was. If in time I were to become Master I should very much like to personalise the freedom ceremony even more. I think that it is important that each person actually understands fully that it is their personal commitment that they are undertaking to the WCoSP and not that of the commercial organisation for which they work … charity is very important to us … but it is the people that join and commit themselves to the growth of the company that really matters.” Gerald laughed as he added: “Not that we don’t want charitable donations from security companies! I just want to emphasise that it is the involvement of the person that is important. For instance I was at a dinner recently and I met a couple that I have known for some time. The man is well known and his wife a real mover and shaker in business terms. We were chatting and they mentioned that they were going through the process of joining one of the Livery Companies. Although a prestigious couple they were still apprehensive as to the outcome … whether they would be accepted or not? I happened to mention that I was a warden of the WCoSP and our conversation diverted to the City and all that it stands for. What I am trying to say is that the fellowship of the Livery movement is unique and should be highly valued by each individual that has the opportunity to join a Livery Company.” I couldn’t agree more. Trying to divert Gerald from talking about WCoSP was not easy; he takes his role in the Company seriously, as he should. He is a great ambassador and advocates that all security professionals should explore the opportunity to join the WCoSP. However, I wanted to find out more about Gerald and I knew that he had undergone surgery for heart problems last year. I asked him to discuss his experience but he was more concerned with getting over the message that men should look after themselves more. Gerald said: “If a chap goes to the docs and has high blood pressure … don’t just brush it off. We tend to act like alpha males and don’t consider our health in the same way that women tend to do.” I am glad to report that Gerald is now fully fit and has a renewed perspective on things. He explained how he spent time contemplating and reflecting on his life. He was always jolly before his illness but is now aware of how precious life can be and has an ‘amour de la vie’ perspective. We talked more about the Inkerman Group and I enquired where the distinctive logo originated? Gerald laughed and said: “When I was at Sandhurst I had seen the logo of the Forty-Nine Battery and was inspired by the image.” Gerald went on to explain the history behind the logo and how the battery was formed in England in 1779 as Nine Company & Four Battalion Royal Artillery. The battery served in the Crimean War, where it took part in the Battle of Inkerman, fought on November 5, 1854 between the allied armies of Britain and France against the Imperial Russian Army. The battle broke the will of the Russian Army to defeat the Allies in the field. To this day The battery still exists and is serving in Northern Ireland. Gerald went on to say that he is not a marketer but he knew exactly the logo he wanted for his company when it originally started as a detective agency. Gerald said: “The security profession gives me a real buzz…it cuts across all divides both political and international.” I asked Gerald about his ambitions for the future regarding work, family and involvement with the WCoSP? “I think the honest answer is that I don’t know? I enjoy doing everything that I am doing. I love being a Warden of the WCoSP and one day if I become Master I will enjoy my term of office but it is only for one year. I am aware after talking to Sheriffs and Past Masters that after an intensive year of involvement at all levels and being at the centre of things … once your year is over … it can feel that everything has come to a sudden stop. As I said as for work … I really enjoy what I am doing. The most important part of my life is my family and I definitely want to see my children grow to have a happy and successful life … without stifling them.” Knowing Gerald I have no doubt he will succeed.