As so many of us struggle with the pain of separation from one another socially, so too do we struggle with the realities of systemic inequality and racism in our society. In the United States and around the world, the recent senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many before them have unleashed an avalanche of pent-up emotion.
Our Core Values, which guide us in even these darkest of times, include the following tenets: to “act in accordance with the chivalric virtues of honor and service”, to “value and respect the worth and dignity of all individuals”, and to “practice inclusiveness and respect pluralism and diversity”.
If we are to live by our core values then there is only one path forward: we must both fight against systemic injustice and support those that do.
As the unique educational organization that we are, we have the opportunity to leverage our greatest resource: our community.
It is our community that makes us who we are. That is the true value of the Society for Creative Anachronism. We treasure the rich diversity of our community as a reflection of the rich diversity of history and we owe it to ourselves to deepen our understanding of pervasive inequitable treatment so that we can move forward on a journey of healing.
There is a tremendous amount of work to be done. It is time for us to take a hard look at who we are in order to hold ourselves accountable for the actions we take – and the actions we don’t take.
There is also fear. Our current reality is the direct result of generations of discrimination and collective trauma. As we educate ourselves to best support every member of our community, we must acknowledge the fear – and speak regardless. The time for inaction is over.
Every member of the SCA can effect positive change through personal accountability. Educate yourself and those around you on issues of injustice. Speak out against it when you see it, and use any platform that you have to elevate other voices speaking out against it, particularly those voices of marginalized groups. Assist those causes which seek to address discrimination, racial inequity, and all systemic injustice through the resources that you have available to you.
I invite all members of the SCA to continue to think about further ways they can help strengthen our commitment to our Core Values.
My SCA stands against bigotry. My SCA will not be silent, and therefore complicit, in the face of injustice. I will continue to work to make my SCA a haven for all, and a key player for progress in the battle against inequality through education and community.
It is my most ardent hope that you will join me.
Jessica Van Hattem
alias Baroness Zahra Tesfaye
SCA Corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
Do you miss events? Wish you could go to one during Quarantine? Well so did a group of bored cooks in Calontir. We have decided to throw an Unofficial Virtual Event!
We are inviting cooks from all over the Known World to share their knowledge and gain some in the process on Sunday, July 5, 2020 9a-5p CST via a series of online video meeting rooms. Classes can be especially well suited for online meetings, so come learn all about SCA period cooking and related topics. Garb is encouraged.
Codex Manesse, UB Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 848, fol. 17r, “Herzog von Anhalt”, 1305-1315. Public Domain in the United States
Gleaned from Facebook:
We, Béla King by right of arms and Nerissa Queen by grace and favor send greetings!
It is with a heavy heart that We must inform you all that Battlemoor is postponed until 2021. We would like to say thank you to the Event Stewards and their staff, as well as to the BAM for all their continued hard work and flexibility in trying to make this event happen in 2020. We know it has been a strain and very stressful to deal with the changing landscape of dealing with this pandemic. The Event Stewards have graciously agreed to stay on and work for the 2021 Battlemoor, thank you all for your hard work and dedication to the Kingdom!
Sadly, this also means that Crown and Coronation will need to be postponed again as well. After seeking council from Our advisors, Our Officers, and Our Peers, We have asked for and been granted a variance from the Board of Directors. At this time, We would like it known that We will be hosting Fall Crown as scheduled in September, with the intent of finding Our rightful heirs and then We shall step down at Fall Coronation in November. To this end We will be opening the list for Crown tournament and ask all who would vie for the honor to submit your letters of intent no later than midnight MST on August 28th. In addition to what is required in Kingdom Law your letter should include a list of events that the fighter and consort have attended from the time period of Estrella War 2019 to Estrella War 2020.
We understand that this is new and unique in Our great Kingdom’s history. It is a difficult situation for all of us. We feel that this course of action is best for the Outlands and We thank all Our officers, Landed Nobles, Event Stewards, and populace for your strength of character, hard work, and continued love and support of the Outlands. We will get through this. We will be stronger for it.
At this time, We are also extending the cancelation of all official SCA events, meetings and gatherings until July 31st. We know that some states are starting to open up and allow for more activities and We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes to these plans as needed. We very much look forward to the time when we can all come together and have events and practices and guild meetings again. We thank you all for doing your part to help make that happen by following social distancing guidelines and protocols. The many good works and deeds of Our populace during this time continue to fill Our hearts with joy and pride. The Outlands is truly the greatest Kingdom in the Known World and We are so grateful and honored to be Your Crown.
In Service to the Outlands We remain,
First, We want to thank all of you, again, who have taken it upon yourselves to see that the not only the business of the SCA continues, but that the dream remains alive and well. The local group meetings, classes, singing, and round tables on fighting and the virtues have been wonderful. If we take anything away from our relative isolation We would love to see these kinds of open discussions, comradery, and self-enrichment continue for all.
Mid-May has come, and we owe you some answers. Thank you for your patience as we have consulted with our Baronages, advisors, and State and CDC guidelines to bring you news for June. Each of the states comprising Calontir has provided different guidance about resuming normal industry and recommendations on the size limit of gatherings. If you have not already, We encourage you to seek out those recommendations for your municipalities, familiarize yourselves with them, and continue to make the choices that are safest for you and your families.
Hopefully you will understand that, given the nature of our Society, travel between groups is ingrained in our culture, and We must make a choice for the whole of Calontir. Between that and the guidelines currently limiting gathering sizes,
We will be continuing the suspension all official SCA in person activities through the month of June.
We have already been in contact with the Witan and are in the very beginning stages of planning an online Calon-Con. If you are a reporting deputy within one of the Kingdom Offices with resources for hosting online meetings and you are willing to help, please reach up through your reporting structure.
Her Majesty, the Kingdom Seneschal, and I have been in contact with the Society to obtain variances allowing us to host Crown Tournament on a first feasible date basis. There will be much more information to come when it is available.
Your continued and constant fortitude has been astounding. The weight of waiting would have broken a lesser people. Constancy will see us through, but here I must remind myself of Marcus Aurelius, “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself”. Set the example you wish to see in others.
There is a game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, claiming everyone in Hollywood can be linked to Kevin Bacon through co-stars in 6 jumps or less. We once tried to play “Six Degrees of Liam”. We couldn’t make it past two. It would be impossible to encompass all that was Liam in one short missive, but we must try.
Baron William O Donovan of Monmouth, OP, OSC, 12th Tyger of the East, schmoozer-extraordinaire, passed away on May 13, 2020 from the COVID-19 virus.
Known far and wide as Liam St. Liam, he and his family joined the SCA during the second reign of Lucan and Jana in the Barony Beyond the Mountain. The family joined so that his wife could participate in rapier, but Liam soon became a mainstay next to the fencing field, feeding the fencers, learning the skills of running a list table in order to support them, and doing what needed to be done. He was quickly recognized for his service to his home Barony with induction to BBM’s Order of the White Oak by Baron Salaamallah the Corpulent. That same month, his service was recognized by his neighboring barony, Bridge, who awarded him the Freedom of the Bridge.
Liam, as most would see him at events
Queen Morgan gave him the Consort’s Order of Courtesy and the same day, together with King Bjorn, awarded him Arms. Shortly thereafter, Lucan and Caitlin recognized his service to the Kingdom by making him a Companion of the Order of the Silver Crescent, and Darius II and Roxane II elevated him to the peerage by making him a Companion of the Order of the Pelican. Prior to his elevation to the Peerage, he was protege to Baron Steffan ap Kennydd, OL, OP.
A faithful servant of the Crown who was active in the Royal Households for many reigns, he was awarded the Queen’s Honor of Distinction by Queen Gabriella and by Brenwen II, and the Consort’s Award of Esteem from Etheldreda IV. He also held Royal Cyphers from Brenwen, Andreas III, and Konrad II. Darius IV and Alethea made him a Baron of the Eastern Court, and Konrad II and Brenwen II recognized him as the 12th Tyger of the East at their final court.
His service to the Kingdom and Society was broad and far reaching. He served as the Seneschal of the Barony Beyond the Mountain, and the Shire of Glenn Linn and was a familiar and well-loved face at the list table across multiple Kingdoms. He was also a talented photographer, who was generous in sharing his images and who had a special knack for taking photos that were flattering and captured special moments. He ran many auctions for the royal travel fund, and taught many classes. He used his modern teaching knowledge for a “How to Teach in the SCA” class. He also taught many classes on SCA music, Interkingdom Anthropology, and SCA history. A favorite for him was the newcomers class he would teach with Master Ernst Nuss von Kitzingen, lovingly referred to as the “Liam and Ernie Show.”
Liam reads the scroll for his younger daughter’s Tyger’s Cub
Liam’s fundraising efforts throughout the years supported the kingdom in many ways, and he was not afraid to embarrass himself to do it. Mistress Aelfgifu of the Hazel Thicket shared: “At a Barony Beyond the Mountain Yule, many years ago, he participated in a fundraising auction. His offering? He would sing and act out “I’m A Little Teapot” for the person who offered the most money to the fundraiser. I have no recollection of how much money was paid, but I will never forget him with one hand on his head and the other as the “spout” as he “tipped” himself over…and that’s my favorite Liam story.”
Liam may have lived in the East Kingdom his entire SCA career, but he touched those throughout the Known World. As the internet became a place of SCAdian connection, “The Liamverse” was coined as Liam connected those far and wide with others of similar interests. Liam was a longtime reporter for the Pennsic Independent, and many rapier fighters credit him with making sure that rapier events and battles were included in the news. A trip to Calontir for Lilies’ War in 1999 netted him life-long friends and connections across the known world, even before the internet made such wide-ranging connections possible. He collected stories from people and places wherever he traveled. His pilgrimage to Lilies’ War and ties to Calontir provided him with one of his most popular stories, “Pavel and The Traffic Cone.”Liam’s fundraising efforts throughout the years supported the kingdom in many ways, and he was not afraid to embarrass himself to do it. Mistress Aelfgifu of the Hazel Thicket shared: “At a Barony Beyond the Mountain Yule, many years ago, he participated in a fundraising auction. His offering? He would sing and act out “I’m A Little Teapot” for the person who offered the most money to the fundraiser. I have no recollection of how much money was paid, but I will never forget him with one hand on his head and the other as the “spout” as he “tipped” himself over…and that’s my favorite Liam story.”
One of Liam’s favorite sayings was, “If you can’t sing well, sing loudly.” And sing loudly he did. A connoisseur of SCA Filk and Bardic, Liam could often be found at Calontir Bardic Nights at Pennsic. He taught classes, shared lists of important SCA songs, and supported SCA musical creators whenever possible.
Baroness Aline Swynbroke, OL, currently in An Tir, formerly of Ansteorra, shared: “Liam was the sort of peer who welcomed others to the fire, made them comfortable, and shared the SCA’s history in a way that was accessible, but never stuffy. Never ‘Well, I was there, so this is THE way…’ He was the kind of peer that put people at ease. And the kind who, when he saw me completely shell shocked after my [vigil announcement] on Friday morning, smiled and told me to relax and just keep having fun. That was the secret.”
In his own words, “ I have, umm, a bubbly personality. I am friendly and loud and round. If I am around, people know. Hard to miss. Kind of like, say, a hurricane.” Liam was, in fact, a force of nature.
Liam apologizes to the King at the conclusion of one of his many quests.
Liam had a big heart and a big mouth, along with a wicked sense of humor that often got him into and out of trouble. He once bragged to the then Queen Marguerite inghean Lachlainn that “he knew everybody” and got himself a quest to make 1,000 introductions. “This is exactly the kind of quest he lived for. It wasn’t punishing him, by any means – it wasn’t really even keeping him out of trouble,” says Countess Marguerite. “But it was keeping him busy and on topic.” This set off a hilarious cascade of events, including Liam trying to introduce the king to his own wife, and his proteges running ahead of him to make introductions before he could. He completed the quest, though, and presented her Majesty with a book of 1,000 connections.
Liam took great joy in the accomplishments of others, and would often be heard bragging about the accomplishments of those around him. Of particular pride were his wife Alethea’s reign as queen of the East, and his daughters’ accomplishments and eventual peerages. “‘Lay-um’ St. Liam was a magnet. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. His kindness and friendship could be felt radiating out from him and through every other person he touched,” Mistress Naomi Bat Avraham shared.
He is survived by his wife, Countess Alethea Eastriding, best friend Lady Serafina Della Torre, his daughters, Mistress Tola knitýr and Mistress Leonete D’Angely, with their spouses Lord Arngrimr Meinfretr and Lord Ulfr Steinsson and his two beloved grandchildren, as well as by the girls’ mother, Master Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka. He leaves behind multiple proteges, households – especially Sharc Pit and Maguire’s Marauders – and a devastated kingdom.
An in-person memorial service will be held in March 2021, sometime after COVID-19 stops threatening to take away the people we love. If you would like to make a donation in his honor, we recommend the Special Olympics,GLSEN, or 100KfromtheSCA.
If Liam had been writing this obit, he would have done so with a beer in one hand, the Kenneth Branaugh Henry V playing in the background and his Red Sox themed coronet jammed down on his head. He is deeply, deeply missed.
Please use the title “Corpora – Marshal’s Office ” in the subject line. Failure to use this subject line may cause your commentary to be misdirected.
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