An Open Letter from Maestro Brian of Leichester Regarding Celebrating the Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary
If it may please The Crown and the Populace…
Greetings from Maestro Brian of Leichester [better known as “Scoop”]!
As we welcome Marcus and Marguerite as the 39th King and Queen, we are also beginning our 20th Year as a Kingdom, and our 27th since Tarbald won the Coronet for Cainder.
With that in mind… I would like to begin a dialogue with these Sylvan Lands.
It is true that I’ve mused in the past with plans for a 20th Anniversary Event in 2017 or 2018, which some of our fellow Sylvan Citizens noted as “being in the works”…
While I will be honored to attend such a 20th Anniversary celebration, the biggest thing I brought home with me from Societal 50th is that we need to take a few years to “do it right” by throwing a Big bash” for our 25th or “Sylvan Silver” Anniversary in 2022 or 2023…
This past June, I had the pleasure of attending the Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. This got me back to thinking about planning an event to celebrate our Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary celebration in September 2022 or 2023.
Towards this end, I share my thoughts relating what I experienced at SCA 50th to what I would love to see our Kingdom do to best celebrate such an august occasion.
In other words: What would I like to see in such an event?
PART ONE: A Wonderful Site
As I recall, it took several years to develop, plan, and schedule the Society’s 50th Anniversary Event. Finding a “Dream Site” is THE FIRST key to hosting a Major Anniversary event.
My hope is that we can find a site with the amenities and opportunities available at the Society’s 50th including:
- A very ADA accessible site;
- A good set of stables and an arena that hosted the Society’s largest equestrian event ever;
- A hall that presented the treasures of the Known World;
- Well air conditioned spaces for Arts & Sciences presentations and Classes;
- Several halls for the Rattan and Rapier [adult and youth] as well as fields for archery, siege weapons, and thrown weapons, including classes, training, and tournaments;
- Ample rest rooms with showers;
- Ample space for members to camp with their respective Kingdoms;
- Ample space for merchants to vend their wares;
- Performing Arts spaces including a tavern setting;
- Several food vendors, including two that were from AEthelmearc [a good taste of home];
- Hotels and eateries within 15 miles of the site
There may be other things that I missed in the above, but the Society’s 50th set the “gold standard” for what we should strive for in planning an Anniversary Event.
Such a site should also be centrally located in our Kingdom so that it’d be equidistant from our most remote corners [i.e., Port Oasis, Coppertree] to travel there. I would think that we may want to look into the county fairgrounds in central Pennsylvania [i.e., Huntington, Center, Cambria, Clearfield counties]. I accept that securing such an “ideal site” for a week or two [to also account for set-up and close-down time for the event] may be a challenge, especially from a financial standpoint. This is another reason to begin the planning for a Kingdom 25th Anniversary Event in the very near future.
We can certainly correspond with the exchequer for the Society’s 50-Year celebration regarding the cost of their site and look into the cost of a similar site within our Realm.
In summary: If we want to truly throw a big “Sylvan Silver Anniversary Celebration,” we really need to start looking for a site that can host all that Æthelmearc has to offer as soon as possible.
PART TWO: PRESENTING THE KINGDOM’s HISTORY and THAT of Its BRANCHES
The second biggest thing I got out of the Society’s 50-Year celebration was that there’s a lot of organizational history that we can present in terms of the Kingdom and its Branches.
- There was a “Hall of History” where each Kingdom had a space to present:
- Displays of their Regalia [i.e. Crowns, Coronets, Thrones, Vesting Cloaks, Swords of State and other Historic “Relics”];
- Audio-visuals presentations of its history [i.e., Photos, Video, Audio of Kingdom songs, Scrolls, etc.];
- Historic Maps of Their Kingdoms;
- Have Docents present to answer questions
They also had a “Memorial Wall” where the names and some biographies of members of our Society who passed away, sorted by Kingdom, were enshrined.
There was also a space for panels to speak on topics ranging from “The Early Days” to “Our Organization’s Future.” There were also days devoted to Peerages, the Arts & Sciences, Inter-Kingdom Events, and Trans-Kingdom Groups [i.e., The Great Dark Horde, The Tuchux, etc.] among other topics.
It is no secret that I have strived to set up something on this order for an event during my tenure as Kingdom Historian. I referred to this as “The Treasure Room.”
We could do something similar at a Silver Anniversary event with the Kingdom and each barony, Shire, Canton, College, Dominion, etc. being provided a space in this “Treasure Room” to present their regalia and history.
For instance- Outside of Rhydderich Hael Baronial Investitures… How many have seen the Treasure Chest won by the Barony for its heraldic display at Pennsic XVIII?
I am certain each Branch has its unique “treasures” and individuals knowledgeable in their group’s histories to act as docents.
- It would also be nice to give due to the lost branches [i.e., RIversmeet, Lofty Mountain, Nemoralis Nocturna, Robledal, Beinn de na Preissan, Coombe Petroc, Riverrouge, Wintersedge, Dun Carrach] as well as to the Households [i.e., Clan Yamakaminari, Caer Cinnuint, The Confederation of Mountain Clans, Hus Faerhaga, Tuatha Theirin, Clovenshield, etc.].
- It would also be nice to hear songs that hearken back to the birth of the Principality of Æthelmearc [i.e., Master Bertram’s Anthem, etc.]And our pre-history. Likewise, it would be a nice thing to hear the songs and tales from our local Branches and the Households.
- It would also be nice to prepare a “Memorial Wall” derived from the Memorial Roll in a manner that the Estates of our fallen can agree upon to be our answer to The Vietnam Memorial [or our answer to “The AIDS Quilt” as one of those involved with the Wall at Societal 50-Year expressed it].
- Another part of the History Hall at Society 50-Year was an effort to preserve oral history as part of “Story Corps™.” [Note- One of the people directly involved in this was Her Excellency, Viscountess Hodierna]. Likewise, it would be a wonderful thing to utilize this event as an opportunity to preserve our own oral history and prepare means of presenting it for the outside world and for our future membership… That our tale may continue to be told even when we are no longer here to present it in person.
In Summary: If we do want to go forward with a “Sylvan Silver Anniversary Celebration,” it would be an ideal event to showcase not merely the History of our Kingdom, but also the History of its Branches.
As I said, this is the beginning of a dialogue on this matter; dialogue to which all in this Realm are cordially invited to participate. I hope to discuss more aspects of such an event in the near future.
I look forward to reading the thoughts of others in this matter via this Gazette.
If you wish to discuss them with me, feel free to write to me at: Brian of Leichester, C/o Brian P. Kujawa, 10963 Trevett Road, Springville, NY 14141-9615
Or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.