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Top Role For Task Force Member

David Handley, Objective One Business Task Force member, has been elected to the prestigious position of Master of the Drapers' Company, with effect from 1st August.

The historic Drapers' Company is a Livery Company in the City of London. It received its Royal Charter in 1364 and organised the Drapery Trade in the City. Today few members of the company are in the Drapery Trade. The company is concerned with the administration of large sums of money left as trusts by previous members of the company. Management is by a five person board and a number of committees including charity, finance, investment and heritage. Mr Handley has been a member of the Drapers since 1970. He became junior warden eight years ago.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "The Partnership congratulates David on his election. He is already a highly valued member of the Objective One Business Task Force and we hope his position as Master of the Drapers' Company will help bring Cornwall further into national awareness."

Mr Handley is keen to raise the profile of Cornwall in the City of London. As Master he is able to adopt a charity for his year as Master and he has chosen the Eden Project. "Many people don't realise the amount of education Eden carries out because it strives to teach everyone how the environment works and what they can do to preserve it," he said.

In his new role he has to be at the Drapers' Company headquarters, situated in Throgmorton Avenue near London's Stock Exchange, for at least three weeks in four. "It is a wonderful hall filled with interesting artefacts," he said. "In history it had a rowing barge that led the funeral procession of Lord Nelson (also a Draper). The company has a barge again which will be used in September as part of the Sea Britain commemoration ceremony."

The full title of the Drapers' Company is 'The Master and Wardens and Brethren and Sisters of the Guild of Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of the Mystery of Drapers of the City of London'. Founded over 600 years ago, the Drapers' Company was from the first, a benevolent institution helping its members who fell into distress.

The principle role of the Drapers' Company today is the administration of the many Charitable Trusts that have been left in its care over the centuries. It acts as trustee for almshouses with some 200 residents and has strong links with a number of schools, colleges and universities, supports charitable institutions and annually makes grants for the education and welfare needs of hundreds of people.

Mr Handley organises one of the annual grants that goes to support Cornwall's St Petroc's Society. It also supports initiatives like the Kneehigh Theatre.

The traditional route into the Drapers' Company was to have a parent who was a Draper. Today anyone can apply to join so the company, which has more than 600 members, made up of liverymen and freemen, who work in a huge variety of trades. The Drapers' Company continues to play a role in the life of the City: its Liverymen carry out important functions in the elections of government of the City of London and certain of its officers.

Mr Handley's day job is as managing director of Pump International Ltd based at Praze, near Camborne. The company supplies companies and organisations worldwide with equipment including bilge pumps for boats and scavenging pumps for diesel engines. Most Royal Navy RFA ships are fitted with the company's pumps, the Sizewell B nuclear plant is fitted with chemical closing pumps and the company supplies the Red Arrows display team with pumps to put the chemical on board the aeroplanes to make the coloured smoke, among many other applications.

Mr Handley, who moved to Cornwall when Pump International relocated in 1989 said: "It is a great privilege for me to be selected as Master. The most difficult part is getting selected as junior warden. Then, once you are on the Court you need several years to find out how the organisation works and sort out your diary to be able to devote enough time to the position."

For further information please contact Clare Morgan of the Objective One Communications Team on 01872 223439 or 07973 813647 or email:

The Objective One Business Task Force manages the private/public sector interface for the programme. The Business Task Force vision is to make Cornwall the place to do business in the 21st Century and to establish Cornwall as a model for sustainable prosperity by creating foundations that support innovation and best practice.


Editor's notes:


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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