The Master Carman for the year 2016-2017 is Marsha Rae Ratcliff.
Marsha Rae was installed as the 500th Master Carman on Wednesday 19th October 2016 in the church of St Lawrence Jewry, Guildhall, London.
She was born in Iowa and raised in Montana USA. She studied Art and Drama in College and at the age of 18 moved to Seattle Washington to start her career. Whilst still in her 20’s and raising a family she founded “Motto & Motif” a Creative Graphic & Design Company with customers including Boeing, Continental Airlines and Northwest Airlines who were her introductions to the transport industry.
She moved to England in 1978, and joined the Worshipful Company of Carmen. Her husband John was elected to the Court in 1986 and was Master in 1997/98 when she became a Liveryman in her own right.
While serving on the board of The Variety Club of Great Britain she created the concept of “Gold Heart Day” which is Variety’s largest International Annual Fundraiser and is still raising millions of pounds each year throughout the world. In 1992 she became the first Lady to become Chief Barker of the Variety Children’s Charity, raising millions with special emphasis on transportation for the disabled through Sunshine Coaches and Electric Chair Committees. In 1993 Marsha Rae and John were honoured to be awarded the International Caring Award in Washington D.C. presented by the Caring Institute.
She works closely with the Miss World’s Charity, “Beauty with a Purpose”, which has ongoing charitable projects around the World in more than 120 Countries.
She has served as a Vice President of Variety International, as Chairman of the International Fund Raising Committee and as Chairman of the International Presidents’ Council which was comprised of all Past International Presidents that oversee and advise on all aspects of Variety Globally.
She is currently a Vice President of London Youth and previously held the post as Chairman of their Ladies Committee working closely with them as Chairman of The Variety Youth Committee for the last 13 years.
She has created and contributed several pieces of original artwork for Carmen events as well as the illustrations for Bishop Bill Down’s book of Prayers.
She is a Director of the Ratcliff Group and assists her husband in his position as Chairman of the IRTE and Patron of the SOE as well as Chairman of the Ratcliff Group.
For only the seventh time, the Installation ceremony was not restricted within the confines of the Court Room, but was instead witnessed and enjoyed by all members of the Company present. The new Master, Senior and Junior Wardens were installed, as the Company's three principal Officers, in front of the Carmen and their guests assembled at the Church of St Lawrence Jewry.
The day concluded with lunch in Livery Hall within Guildhall with over 250 Carmen and their guests.