[Ansteorra] Peers activity

James Crouchet jtc at io.com
Tue Aug 27 10:19:12 PDT 2002

On 27 Aug 2002 at 9:42, Brian Martin wrote:

> They
> must also realize that most peers have been around for quite a few
> years and must sometimes take some time off. (Heck, I've been a knight
> for 13 years, and I'm never the oldest knight in any circle.) Finally,
> people have to realize that the peers are just people too, and that we
> make mistakes.

I want to add a few thoughts:

First, Peerage is NOT a life sentence to doing hard time. Come on,
the SCA is what we do for fun. If someone is required to constantly
work so hard that they hate their time in the SCA then it becomes a
punishment. I say to anyone on any level, if you hate a job, if you gain
no sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from doing it, if you don't
feel that job "belongs" to you, then don't do it. If it does not make you
feel good on any level it is not your job. And before someone tells me
that you must have this officer or put on that event to maintain your
group's status, let me say that if you cannot find someone who is
interested enough to fill those posts then your group's status is a
fiction anyway. That is why the SCA has procedures for reducing the
status of a group.

Second, how should we look at those who "retire" or reduce their
activity level? I am not talking about those who become members of a
working order and then never lift a hand or make no contribution that
matters. In general I regard such elevations as mistakes to be learned
from and avoided in the future. No, what I am writing about are those
who serve well for a time but then are no longer able to maintain the
level of activity that gained them their position.  Do they no longer
deserve the honor? Are they no longer of any value? As a working
order, the WS have had to wrestle with this issue.

After long thought and much debate I am clear that there is nothing to
be gained from shunning these people and much to be lost. Consider,
if you will, Dupre and Iolo. Both worked hard for fencing and the SCA
for many years. In that alone they have more than "paid their dues" for
life. But now Don Dupre has been gone for years and all his
knowledge and experience are gone with him. Iolo, however, still pokes
his head in from time to time. We see him at the occasional practice
and we hear his voice in a few WS discussions. He trains a few lucky
individuals in his backyard. Those contributions may seem small to
those who cannot see them firsthand but their impact is great. Every
contribution he makes is a valuable gift, sharing his experience and
wisdom. He deserves our respect, not a lecture about his activity level.

Finally, the nature of the work that we need for a person to do changes
as they change rank. When I recommend someone for a WS I am
recommending them for a particular job and I expect that to be a
priority. If a shire is scrambling to find someone to do rapier
inspections because the only Don in the area is doing gate guard, then
that Don is (probably) making poor use of his time. Not that there is
anything wrong with him sitting gate, so long as that is where he is
actually needed. Any number of people can sit gate but few can be a


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