It began several years ago with a Great Lakes Chapter trip to the factory of a moisture meter manufacturer in England. The international relationship took on new meaning September 13, 2006, when two ASHI leaders were inducted into the Worshipful Company of Constructors as Freemen of the Company.
Photo: (l to r) Don Nelson, Robert Skinner (Beadle), Frank Lesh and Mike Parrett following the admittance of Don and Frank into the Worshipful Company of Constructors at the Pewterers Hall in London
Great Lakes Chapter members Frank Lesh, who is also ASHI’s president-elect, and Don Nelson, who also is an ASHI Director, are the first international Freemen in the Worshipful Company of Constructors, which is one of 107 livery companies charted by the Corporation of London, some of which have been in existence since 1066.
This international connection has been years in the making. Lesh and Nelson met Mike Parrett, an English dampness expert and building pathologist, when they attended the 2002 Great Lakes Super Seminar in England. Lesh later appeared in Parrett’s Building Pathology DVD series, and Parrett conducted a session at a Great Lakes Seminar in the United States. With Parrett leading the way, Lesh, Nelson and their spouses traveled to England on separate occasions, meeting with representatives of the Institute of Maintenance and Building Management (IMBM), an organization that trains inspectors in Britain through the Association of Home Inspectors (AHI), and attending the Charted Institute of Building dinner. Then, together, they became Freemen of the livery company.
Nelson explained, “The livery companies (often known as guilds in other countries) were formed by craftsmen who wanted to do business in the City of London. Belonging to a livery company allowed them free passage into the square mile that is the City of London and protected their customers, employers and employees by checking for inferior work that did not meet their standards, that was of bad quality or underweight.”
Today, the primary goals of the companies are education and charitable works.
Highlights of the international relationship were reported in IMBM news (www.imbm.org.uk), and the relationship will continue when Great Lakes Chapter returns to London for another Super Seminar in 2007.