[Ansteorra] comments on Western Region problem
themaefare at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 8 17:30:09 PST 2008
To the people of Ansteorra,
I write this with a heavy heart because this topic comes very close to home. A number of years ago, the then Canton of Torre de los Brazos was disbanded. If you speak to officers of the crown or local barony, a much different reason for the disbandment is given than when you talk to local members that were involved.
For the last two years, I have tried to restart Torre. We had at least 5 members for the last two years, and for the last one and a half, we had a slate of officers. Some of the officers of different levels were extremely helpful, others were disinterested, and others seemed to place roadblocks in the way. We discussed becoming official with regional and kingdom officers at least three times. We were told different procedures almost every time.
Finally, I set a deadline and activity level. By that time, the people who were interested had become so disinterested that I decided not to proceed.
I have been a member off and on for fifteen years. For the largest portion of that time, I stuck close to home and was not involved in regional or kingdom politics. I was not pleased with what I was seeing when I did become involved.
I know someone that is wanting me to help start another group. However, I am not sure it is worth it.
I have seen many posts on this list about living the dream, how it was in the past, and what peers should do. As a whole, I have had good experiences with peers, but I also believe that the politics and forced intrusion of the mundane is hurting the SCA.
I wish to thank all of you that offered their help to us as we tried to reform. It was always a bright spot in a rather frustrating experience.
Can we really afford to lose any more members, much less groups?
Lady Penelope Miriam Darling
(formerly of Torre de los Brazos)
"willowdewisp at juno.com" <willowdewisp at juno.com> wrote:
Dear people Greetings from Duchess Willow de Wisp
I have been told that a "good peer" only choice when they see something "unfair" done by the Crown is to remove them self from the Kingdom and be quiet and say nothing. It has also come to me by a third party that what I do in the next week will decide if I am banished. Part of being a Peer is telling the truth even if it means you will die. This is what I feel about this action of dissolving the Western region. I am drafting a official letter but I think I made my feelings clear to the Prince and officers present at the Meeting.
All people in Ansteorra need to take warning. The way this was done is bad precedent. The way the BOD works is if something is done in a Kingdom and their is no problems with it it stands as a Custom and tradition and if latter if people protest they uphold the action as a custom. I do not want this process to be Ansteorra "custom"
The first thing is the "populace" of the West were not fully informed that this was happening. Warnings were sent to the officers . Sometimes warnings for over five years. These were sent by the bureaucratic pathways. Problems with the officers were one of the major problems. Senting information through them doesn't seem the best option. I know in the past groups with problems would be visited by committee usually a group of Dukes and told that they had a problem and they needed to solve it. This way the people in the group could get together and "fixed" their problems.
Right now I am disfranchised from my local group, but it I heard it was having problems. especially with finding acceptable officers my whole family would come back and offer to help. If the problem had been clearly stated to the people in the West I believe some of the old members would have returned and helps.
Second.Groups that have following all the Kingdom guild lines and laws are being disbanded and a group that is having problems is being kept. If the Kingdom rules are being changed then the changes need to be published and groups need to be given a chance to update.
One of the statements made by the officers were the groups were just trading offices around. If this is a reason for a group to be disbanded even if it has it numbers then many groups in the Kingdom might be trouble. Also they said they did not have acceptable replacement and deputies. Again I know of Baronies that did not have deputies for all their officers. Also the word "acceptable" seem a little vague. Think one of the groups being disbanded has all its officers and deputies. Are they being disbanded for lack of "acceptable" replacement. The way this rule is being used could be used on many of our groups at any time.. I do not believe that the current officers are misusing this policy but what about officers in the future if this becomes "custom".
Three- The Crown and the officers supposedly "looked" at all options and this was the only one that worked. The people are supposed to accept this on faith. The Crown and the officers have not taken the time to explain to the people why other solution would not work. I think the people of the West should have the right to be part of the decision progress that chose the solution and have the right to understand why this is the only solution. I don't want to say something negative about the Crown and the Officers, but they might of overlooked something that might make the Western people happier. At least they might had felt they were important to the Kingdom. I realize that the Baron of Bonwick was part of the decsion but it was possible that he was influence by the needs of Bonwick. Other groups needed to have their own representatives to have the process seem fair.
Four- Lastly I believe that before something this radical is done to the Kingdom every resource of the Kingdom should have been applied to help these people. The Western Region has been left alone and very few Peers and Nobles have gone to help them. I know in the last year they have had some demos and other recruiting activities. If I known of the dire nature of the problem I would had gone to the West to help them. I am sure that many of the citizens of Ansteorra would had tried to help them. Their problems of lack of members and lack of volunteers for officers is a Kingdom problem maybe all of us need to be brainstorming to come up with solutions. Getting the Peers, Nobles and people of Ansteorra to help might not have changed anything, but the People of the West would had known that we care and would not be feeling as alone.
I am hoping that this decision could be slowed down and the West be given the full support of the Kingdom and the Spring to bring up their numbers and find the officers they need. After that they be given all the information and be allowed to generate some solutions of their own. If the Crown and Officers are correct then this solution is the only one then they will probably come up with it, but they would understand it.
As a process I would like clear cut steps to laid out before this kind of action is taken. I want this for the West, but I would also like this for my local groups because we are all facing dieniding numbers. I have worked to hard for my local groups to have a few officers and the Crown to make decision in secret and just inform me I have no options.
Duchess Willow de Wisp
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