It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Past Master Sir John Raymond Perring Bt TD, OStJ, who passed away peacefully on 21 June 2020, aged 88.
John’s life in furniture began in his late teens, joining the family business, Perring Furnishings Group, in 1951, working his way up to chairman, a position he held from 1981 to 1988, and later at Perrings Finance Ltd until 2009.
Sir John had a long and distinguished involvement with The Furniture Makers’ Company and the City of London.
He joined the Furniture Makers as a freeman in 1953 and a decade later became a liveryman when the guild became a livery company.
In 1978 Sir John followed in the footsteps of his father Sir Ralph Edgar Perring by becoming Master.
In addition to his commitment to the Furniture Makers, Sir John was a liveryman of the Merchant Taylors and served as Master of the Company twice, in 1988 and 1994.
His devotion to the City of London also saw him proudly serve as Sheriff in 1991.
A staunch and loyal supporter of The Furniture Makers’ Company, Sir John remained an active liveryman right to the end, continuing to serve as a member of the Court and Past Masters’ Committee as Senior Past Master.
He was the beloved husband of the late Ella, Lady Perring (nee Pelham), a devoted father to John Simon, Emma, Mark and Anna, a loving grandfather to Ben, Kate, Oscar, Jessica, Loren and Luke and a friend to all who knew him.
A private family funeral was held in July, but a Service of Thanksgiving is planned for a later date at St. Michael’s, Cornhill.
Senior Past Master Roger Richardson remembers Sir John
Court meetings will never be the same again. After 54 years there will not be a Perring in the Senior Past Master’s traditional seat at the top of the left-hand table.
When Stanley Wharton, the founding Master, died in 1966 Sir Ralph became the SPM. Sir John (Master 1978) became the Senior active (not emeritus) Past Master when Sir Ralph died in 1999.
Sir John’s softly spoken contributions to the meetings were always relevant, considered and wise. We were just so lucky to have someone as SPM who had twice been Master of one of the Great Twelve companies, and a Sheriff, and was thus able to give advice and make suggestions based on his immense experience of liveries and the City.
Although I first met John in the course of selling my firm’s furniture to the Perring retail group (in considerable and satisfactory quantities), he and his delightful, always full-of-joy wife, Ella (who died last year), became close friends with Evelyn and myself. We met quite often at home or in mutually nearby Wimbledon.