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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

SIAS: A century of celebrations

Over its century, the Society has reserved celebrations for very special occasions. As a 50-year-old ‘child’, it received the Jubilee Fund (£250) in 1960 from the Institute to celebrate its Golden Jubilee. This led to the foundation of the Jubilee Lecture, which I am proud to say continues to this day. The original objective was to promote closer links with other professions but this was expanded to attract exceptional speakers from all walks of life.

Over the years we have been privileged to host many eminent speakers, from Harold Wilson to Edward du Cann, from Lord Ezra to Baroness Greengross. We are now eagerly awaiting the Centenary Lecture from Paul Wilmott on 2 November this year: ‘What Quants Do and Why They Shouldn’t’. The Society also commissioned a book, The First Fifty Years: An Appreciation (pictured, right) by Fred Menzler.

We now move to 1985 (SIAS’s 75th anniversary), which is the year I joined the Society’s committee (for the first time). The first social event I attended as a new committee member was the unveiling of the beautiful stained glass windows in Staple Inn (pictured, below right) that the (now adult) Society gave to the Institute. The timeless motto in the main part of one of the windows, “I hold every man a debtor to his profession”, is one that we should never forget. At the time there was much plain glass in the main part of Staple Inn hall, and the Society led the way to change this. Several overseas actuarial associations gave other windows for the Institute’s 150th anniversary, so the main hall is now complete. The Society published a further book, The Students’ Society Log 1960-1985: Twenty-five Years of Enterprise by Colin Stewart (pictured right).

So how shall we celebrate our centenary? The Society has commissioned a sundial, as a gift to the (now) Institute and Faculty, to be placed on the south-facing wall, above the fig tree in the garden. It is being crafted by Chris Daniel, an eminent sundial designer. I did not know that sundials could be so complex. We are going to have a particularly intricate one, accessible at several levels, so start studying now! The actual anniversary of the Society falls during the deep recesses of autumn, on 23 November, so the unveiling will take place next spring, when we hope the sun will shine for us. Look out for an article in The Actuary explaining how to read the sundial.

Until then we have this special pull-out and further content to come in the magazine started by, and still owned by, the Society, which it publishes on behalf of the whole membership of the UK profession.

Roll on the 125th!

Fiona J Morrison
Staple Inn Actuarial Society

SIAS Centenary content:

A century of celebrations by Fiona Morrison

100 years of SIAS by Richard Purcell and James Williamson

An audience with... Nick Dumbreck

SIAS profiles