On Monday 30 April, members of the Worshipful Company of Innholders (WCI), Master Innholders (MI), St. Julian Scholars (SJS) and Aspiring Leaders gathered at Drapers’ Hall, London to celebrate the 40thanniversary of the establishment of the Master Innholders.

Established by Derek Balls in 1978, the Master Innholders marked the Worshipful Company of Innholders’ (who received their first charter from Henry VIII in 1514) first step towards renewing its connections with the hotel industry. The Master Innholders membership acknowledges the attainment of the highest standards in hotel management.

Guests were welcomed by Nicholas Rettie MI, Master of the Worshipful Company of Innholders; Stuart Bowery MI, Chairman of the Master Innholders, Gareth Banner MI, Chairman of the St Julian Scholars and Dr Hilary Cooke, Aspiring Leaders Diploma course director, before enjoying a glittering champagne reception in Drapers’ Hall’s drawing room.

Commenting on the evening, Stuart Bowery MI said: “I’m delighted to mark the occasion of our 40th anniversary, alongside the WCI, to recognise our strong presence and influence in the industry, as well as celebrate with the next generation of talent. Through the MI programmes, over 300 hoteliers have benefitted from the MI Scholarship and the Aspiring Leaders Diploma has recently commenced its 7thCohort. Our founding fathers from the WCI would be proud to note that their initiative to establish the Master Innholders has helped shape our industry and remains true to its aims 40 years on.”

The milestone year has already seen the organisation present its biggest General Managers’ Conference in its 25-year history, welcome six new Master Innholders and enrol 18 young hotel professionals on the Aspiring Leaders Diploma. Applications for the MI Scholarships will open this summer and September will see 30 MIs and Master Innholders and Scholars cycle the gruelling 530km journey from London to Reims to raise money for the MI Charitable Trust, which helps fund the MI Scholarships.