In the introduction to the latest edition of the Journal of the London Society (available to purchase here), London Society Chairman Peter Murray introduces our new motto.
Over the past year or so the Society has been giving a lot of thought to our purpose and how to explain it. There has, for some time, been a feeling that the Latin motto that has served us well for the past hundred years is in need of modernisation. Antiqua Tegenda, Pulchra Petenda, Futura Colenda doesn’t do it for a younger generation. Even the rough translation ‘look after the old, seek the beautiful, cultivate the future‘ sounds somewhat laboured. What we needed was an ‘elevator pitch’ – a ready and meaningful answer for when someone asks, ‘What does the Society do? What is it for?‘
We didn’t want to change those basic tenets of the Society set out by our founding members, but we did want to bring them up to date. Just as the old Latin motto suggested a respect for the history of the capital in its cultivation of the future, we knew we should respect the Society’s own history as we developed its mission for the 21st century. To do so, we needed to look back at those early days.