IT industry gets Royal Charter

Last week, the information technology industry achieved a rare honour in being bestowed a Royal Charter in an official ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral.

The industry in this guise is represented by a guild, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT), a sort of old boys club set up to help old farts think they're doing something useful by engaging in charitable works.

Guilds were first formed in England before the Normans came and duffed up Harold near Hastings. They used to help their members achieve a living wage. Now they just get dressed up in fancy pants and don't sully their hands with such matters. The first guild to be awarded a Royal Charter was Worshipful Company of Weavers in 1155.

Honorary members of the WCIT include father of Windows, Bill Gates, father of the world-wide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and father of the Internet Vint Cerf. Mothers are less well represented among its 720 members.

According to the outfit, membership is open to IT practitioners and those working in other areas – such as finance, accountancy, law, health, personnel, marketing and PR – where there has been a strong IT connection. To become a member, you will need to demonstrate a track record of achievement related to the IT sector.

The Royal Charter was awarded at St Paul's Cathedral in a ceremony full of pageantry, the BBC reports.

WCIT's Master, Charles Hughes said, "Livery companies are a great way of channelling good works. They have been doing this kind of activity for about a thousand years and it's very nice to adopt principles that have been in operation for such a long time. They ensure that whatever we fund has longevity."

In his sermon at the ceremony, the Reverend Canon noted that the event was been tweeted and wondered whether Twitter was a blessing or something that chained people to the treadmill.