Commons minutes for November 2017

Minutes of the Østgarðr Commons meeting of November 17, 2017
As recorded by Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin.


Suuder Saran, Viceroy
Lada Monguligin, Vicereine
Angelica di Nova Lipa, Exchequer
Mongu Chinua, Herald
Beatrice della Rocca, Chatelaine
Ervald LaCoudre, Knight Marshal
Alec MacLachlan, Deputy Fencing Marshal
Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin, Youth Combat Marshal
Erich Guter Muth, Minister of Lists
Rufina Cambrensis, Chronicler
John Elys, Deputy Chronicler
Alienor Salton, Whyt Whey Seneschal, Acting Webminister
Ben of Brokenbridge, Northpass Seneschal proxy
Zoya the Orphan

Absent Officers

Francesco Gaetano Greco d’Edessa, Seneschal
Sofya Gianetta di Trieste, Minister of Arts & Sciences, reported by email
Arnbjorg Helga Niálsdóttir, Archery Marshal
Marion of York, Fencing Marshal
Ian of Clan Mitchell, Chamberlain
Katherine Gilliesfleur, Deputy Chamberlain
Richard the Poor of Ely, Historian
Arnora Ketilsdottir, Webminister
Wilhelm of Northpass, Northpass Seneschal, represented by proxy and reported by email
Brekke Franksdottir, Lions End Seneschal, reported by email
Brandr Aronsson, Brokenbridge Seneschal, reported by email


Meeting called to order at 8:02.



Seneschal unable to attend tonight; no report.

Chinua: Officer nominations will be announced today; voting for contested offices will be held at December commons, in person, by officers or their representatives with a written proxy either stating their vote or stating that a named designee can vote on their behalf.

Viceroys: On Communications

Suuder: Take note that Facebook is not our official means of communication. Official mechanism for officer communications is through the EK-hosted email server. Remember that Facebook is a public forum, and not the appropriate mechanism for contact in your capacity as an officer. It’s also not an appropriate location for bickering that might alienate newcomers.

Chinua: Should we set up separate EK email addresses for event autocrats?
Alienor: EK mail services will all change in the next few months when we migrate to Google Apps. Everyone will have a <membernumber> address, and officer accounts will forward to individual addresses.
Rufina: Will archives of old officer emails migrate over from old EK server?
Alienor: That’s still under discussion. Am in communication with webministry team which is figuring out some of these details as they go.
Suuder: Transition to Google will also mean that we can use Google Chat for instant messaging using officer identities, which will be official in a way that Facebook messenger isn’t.
Beatrice: It would be nice to have a workshop for people to get accustomed to using the new tools
Alienor: Agreed, we should organize such a workshop. Whyt Whey will be one of the first five branches to migrate, so we’ll be helping to figure this out before it gets rolled out to the rest of the kingdom.

Alienor: Has there been some recent event that prompted discussion of Facebook norms?
Suuder: Not locally, but these issues have come up elsewhere in the kingdom.
Chinua: Our local Facebook groups have occasionally had heated debates that spun out of control until they were deleted by an administrator, but not in the last couple of years.

Rufina: I can see how public groups are an effective marketing tool for recruiting newcomers, but I wonder if it would also be useful to have a closed members-only group for conversations we don’t want to have be public.
Chinua: Some groups have only private or even closed groups. We could create a second group for the province that was private.
Suuder: Instead let’s agree to not put that kind of discussion on Facebook in the first place. Take it to email or other channels.

Viceroys: Officer Positions

Lada: We have received nominees for the officer positions that are up for renewal.

For Seneschal, three people submitted letters of intent: Alec, Chinua, and Alienor.

For Herald the only volunteer was Mathghamhain.
Mathghamhain: I am new at this and will definitely call on Chinua and our other experienced heralds for assistance.

For Webminister the only volunteer was Alienor.

For Fencing we didn’t get any volunteers.
Mathghamhain: Do we know whether Marion is available and interested in continuing in this post?
Chinua: If we don’t get any new volunteers we assume the current officer will remain in the position.
The Fencers: We will check with Marion and confirm.
Erich: I volunteer as tribute.

Alienor: Was Richard available to take on the Exchequer position?
Several People: we believe he will remain as the emergency deputy.
Angelica: my warrant as exchequer expires in Feb. but I will renew.

Lada: We will have an election for the contested office at next month’s commons. An email will be sent to the officers’ list with rules for voting and proxies. If you are running, please post an email to the officers list with a blurb about what you would like to do in the office.

Viceroys: Other News

Lada: Save the date of Saturday, May 12. (The day before Mother’s Day, the weekend before Viking Day.) An Dubh is challenging us in everything. Champions vs champions. Details to follow.


Chinua: We had awards at Goat’s tavern. Seahorse for Aurora ffolkes. Sea Dogs for Oliver de Bainbridge, Mathghamhain, Jenna Childslayer, and Phillip the First.

Marshal of Fighting

Ervald: Note that the new title of this office is Marshal of Fighting rather than Knight Marshal.

I have renewed my marshal’s warrant.

Have been holding fighter practice every week, have had some attendees but lately some folks unavailable due to school, work, weather, etc. Attempting to recruit new fighters.

Working on access to an indoor site at my workplace for fighter practice. Questions about insurance; acting as intermediary between society corporate office and the local business’s insurance broker. Maybe in a few weeks we can use this space, in LIC near 33rd St stop on 7 train. If that goes well, maybe we could use space for fencing, other activities, although not simultaneously.

I will contact finance committee for reimbursement of loaner gear.

Youth Combat

Mathghamhain: We had a small meet at Goat’s Tavern, with two newcomers from the vicinity of Rusted Woodlands for whom this was their first event ever.

We’ve recently received a set of matching youth tabards from Lady Angelica for which we are very grateful; this will help our fighters in loaner armor look less garish on the field.

I’ve recently begun serving as the EK Southern Region deputy and as the webminister for the youth combat program.


Beatrice: Newcomers at Goat’s had a good time. Loaner garb was all returned and is in good shape. Let me know if you need gold key an upcoming events.

Beatrice: We have had inquiries about activities for very young children (~ 5 years); please let me know if you have suggestions for family-friendly activities that would be appropriate for kids in this age group.
Chinua: If we’re going to do more youth activities, we might need another background-checked person. However, “family friendly” activities with parents in attendance may not require a background-checked person.
Rufina: For family activities, we should talk to parents about what their kids would enjoy.
Everyone: we should brainstorm other activities.
Alienor: Children’s events at Goat’s were good; the youth coordinators did a fantastic job.
Everyone: That was Leona and Hugoline; they have a lot of experience and are great at it.


Angelica: We have money.

We’re set up to accept payments for A&S Championships via PayPal. Paperwork wasn’t difficult.

Østgarðr review of books is upcoming; Lions End completed.


Alienor: Have made several changes recently.
• Posted provincial Commons minutes back through Jan. 2016, redacting as needed.
• Updated WordPress, plugins and themes & did some minor mailing list maintenance.
• Updated officer’s page.
• Added Document Library to navigation.
• Made a mailing list for the bylaws committee,

Whyt Whey Seneschal

Alienor: For scheduling convenience of our hosts, Evenings in the Solar are moving to the 2nd Thursday of each month. Provincial website calendar page of recurring local events and our shared Google calendar have been updated accordingly. This month’s solar was an illumination class, taught by Lady Lada. Next month will be bookbinding, taught by Lady Beatrice using paper provided by Lady Angelica.

Mention was made at our last commons of Whyt Whey’s bylaws. I have seen no such beast, and would inquire of our historian and other long-term members of its existence.

Has anyone seen the orange water cooler loaned to us for Cloisters by Jenna Childslayer?

Also, we still have the green & white in Whyt Whey, and need to arrange with the deputy chamberlain a suitable date and time for its return.

Minister of Arts & Sciences

Sofya, reporting by email:

Østgarðr has been very active hosting many A&S gatherings throughout the Province this past month. Thank you all that have hosted and for those who attended.

The Queen still needs favors! Queen Matilde’s favor design is available and ready to be made. Keep in mind you do not need to embroider them! You can paint them, stamp them or bead them. Get creative! Below is the pdf link you can download:

East Kingdom 50: Please keep sending me items you have that might be added to Ostgardr’s display at 50 year. Time passes quickly and EK50 will be here soon so don’t wait too long. The East Kingdom 50 year celebration runs June 28th thru July 1st, 2018. Please let me know if there is something you would like to share and send to Thank you to all who have submitted so far.

I have been holding on to fabric for the past three years that has been generously donated my members of the Province. As Southern Region Chatelaine I have read a number of reports from other baronies/shires that have little or no gold key. I would like to donate the fabric I am holding to baronies/shires in need to create gold key. There’s not a lot of fabric (less than a medium sized tub) and most is not period appropriate (hence, why we haven’t used it). I wanted to combine this fabric to the fabric that was generously given to me by Christos’s family as a gift from the Province. We are blessed to have an abundant gold key. Our workshops and recent donations have created a surplus in gold key. We can offer a choice of 2 or 3 outfits per person when previously I could barely scrap up one! In this season of giving, I think this would be a wonderful opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ and make use of fabric that has been sitting in a container for over 3 years to help others in need.
• Everyone: Carried unanimously.

Lions End Seneschal

Brekke, reporting by email:

The seneschal reported that the Bullying and Harassment Policy MUST be posted in plain sight (at the entrance to the event/meeting/etc) at ALL SCA meetings and events.

Our treasurer [Arnbjorg] was audited by Southern Regional for the previous three report periods, and a few minor problems were addressed. We do not seem to be in trouble.

Our rapier marshal [Marion] is having a major dose of Real Life, both in caring for her 96-year-old mother and with her work schedule, so is leaving most of it to her assistant, Alec MacLachlan. He is working with Historical Arts Rapier at practices in Central Park.

Our Chatelane [Duggmore] reports that there has been no activity, and no reports are past due.

A&S [Maeve] reports ongoing Bardic on Tuesday evenings and is pleading (as is usual) for articles for our newsletter.

Our Herald [Francesco] reports that he is actually (VERY HAPPILY!) doing “real heraldry work”, within the Province but not within the Canton.

The Østgarðr Seneschal [Francesco] noted that nominees for Provincial office are self-nominated, and if you’re interested in any office coming open, bids must be in soon (like Nov. 17).

Work progresses on the Provincial Bardic and A&S Championships, which are taking place on April 21 (opposite Balfar’s Challenge, as usual).

Keep our June 2 Demo open. If it’s pouring that day, it will be held on June 9. Parking will be available across Cherry Street (the back entrance to Village Green) for us, and we can use the Green & White as a large tent had been set up successfully on the green a few weeks ago.

Brokenbridge Seneschal

Brandr, reporting by email:

Greetings Your Excellency from the Seneschal of the most awesome Canton of Brokenbridge,
As Real life has made it impossible for me to attend the Provincial Commons tomorrow, here is my Seneschal’s report.

Brokenbridge is growing in leaps and bounds. At the last three commons/ A&S days we have had at least one and sometimes more new people who want to be involved in Brokenbridge and the SCA. At our Forge building class we had two new people attend. At our October commons / Sausage day we had three new people who I believe will be quite active within the canton. One couple was very eager to be involved. Anna, brought with her a skein of Scottish wool and was spinning it into thread during the meeting. She is not nor has she ever been in the SCA, it was remarked that she has been in the SCA he whole life but she just didn’t know it.

Our future commons meeting will involve another pewter casting day and an embroidery day in February taught by Sir Edward, embroidery laurel extraordinaire.

We are making plans for Deck the Halls of Valhalla on January 13. Everyone who is planning on attending should pre-reg as we are capping the event at sixty. IF you would like to teach a Viking themed class please reach out to Anneke as she is running the classes for the event. Once again we will be entertained by the amazing and barefoot Cedar the Unshod.

We are looking at sites for “Bacon Bridge Two – The Baconing” for sometime in the late spring.

A Brokenbridge bank account is still in the works.


Rufina: Subscribe to the newsletter!

Am amenable to posting newsletter to web site, as long as we remove mundane names and addresses. However, the print newsletter archive was produced with a sense that it had limited distribution, and am not sure we should post them to the web. Also not sure the creative material back then had releases signed at the time.
Mathghamhain: Am not sure there’s a real drive to post the paper issues online.
Ervald: It would be interesting to find some selected print materials to show online to give people a sense of our history.
Mathghamhain: Maybe we could select a sampling of material from the paper archives and share them at EK50?
Rufina: We may have some duplicate issues we could display.
Rufina: Perhaps we could make a printed “best of the seahorse” newsletter?
Everyone: Yes, that would be great.
Rufina: Okay, I will look through old issues to find selected articles for exhibition at EK50, perhaps in the form of a “best of” newsletter.

Northpass Seneschal

Ben: I am here as proxy for Wilhelm who it out with a cracked rib; his report follows.

Greetings from Northpass and its Seneschal to the Province of Østgarðr!

I apologize I will not be there in person but only in spirit. (I cracked a rib and unfortunately am not traveling well.) Please accept Ben to represent Northpass as my Proxy. I promise to make all efforts to attend the next meeting even if I must be carried to it! I hope all of you are well.

We have been busy in many, many ways. First and dear to my heart, we have begun planning out the events Northpass will host for next year ranging from the tiny to the giant. The enthusiasm and offers of help are quite encouraging in many ways as it shows the growth we have had over the last 7-10 years.

Goat’s Tavern (just completed a few weeks ago) had brand new faces from Northpass as well as other groups. I personally was touched by the service of a youngling and the willingness of their Excellencies to acknowledge that service. It was a wildly successful event and we look forward to more!

Just to share a quick list of the planned Northpass events:

Northpass Yule – December 31 – Port Chester “a chance to end the year with good company and good cheer” Strict limit to 30 people

Bears Tavern – March 2-4 Peekskill “The return of a popular longstanding event at Blue Mountain” – With the kind and in person request of their Excellency this event will host Østgarðr Thrown Weapons Championship (long before the revelry gets in high gear.)

Brew U – April 28-30 Peekskill “Brewing guild and Northpass partner to bring out teaching on all forms of Brewing”

Blood & Axes 2 – (proposed) last week of June – Carmel – “similar event to last year’s ‘all things martial but especially Axes’ with this edition planned to be a bit bigger in scope and attendance. The site can easily hold 150 but we expect 70-80.

Barleycorn, Goats Tavern, and likely a “Games and Dance” event expected also in the next 12 months.

We also reworked our Cantonal Bylaws. Lots of work is now complete with clear event and financial rules included. Some policy documentation will follow over the next few months as we invite many more to run the events. We have set new committees for work in the new year on several topics. We are looking to expand our officer corps. We will continue and expand A&S, archery, games, dance within our borders. (I said we are busy… This and much of the event planning was all within a three hour meeting earlier this week.)

One odd note, with regards to the officers of Northpass, we read in last months minutes that there was a request to know something about a non-resident Seneschal for our Canton. I have individually spoke to most of our current officers and a few of our non-officers and it is not apparent to us where this question is from. From the current possible choices who have offered none now live beyond the Cantonal borders.

In short, we are active, growing and enthusiastic. We are not only wanting to do SCA locally but want to help where we can our sister Cantons and the Province. (One note of thanks to Whyt Whey for hosting one of our newest Northpassins at their “Schola in the Solar” event. She loved it. Another note of thanks to Judith the Uncertain for helping us teach mask making locally.) Also in particular please share how we can help at K&Q A&S and Bardic as many of us are planning to attend.

Sidebar: Event Scheduling

Lada: Given that so many things are coming up, we should talk about how we do event scheduling.
Chinua: We need to be careful to avoid conflicts. Last couple of months were packed, with something nearly every weekend either in Østgarðr or surrounding area. The procedures manual says the provincial seneschal needs to sign off on events in writing.
Ben: We should check with EK seneschal on event policies; there may be a rule that parent groups shouldn’t need to sign off on on canton events.
Ervald: Local events like practices and A&S don’t count for this purpose, right?
Everyone: Agreed, this is only for larger events, those with a budget, etc.
John: Policies from PPM say there can’t be more than one event within the province on any given date.
Mathghamhain: I don’t think the PPM should have the force of law, since nobody has seen it or mentioned it in years.
Chinua: Yes, but the PPM has a lot of useful material that we should consider.
Alienor: We could set up a separate mailing list, or we could just use the officers list for the schedule resolution.
Lada: Let’s use the officers list.
Alec: Also need to make sure we’re checking for conflict against neighboring branches via EK seneschal list.
Alienor: Agreed; Whyt Whey did this recently and other seneschals were appreciative.

Alienor: In future meeting agendas, let’s combine demos and events into one portion of the agenda.
Everyone: Agreed.

Fencing Marshal

Alec: A quorum of fencers just had a meeting in the other room.
• Alec has been nominated to serve as provincial fencing marshal; Erich will step back.

We are ending outdoor practice after this week, as it’s too cold.
• Attendance recently has been limited, due to weather and other commitments.
• Looking for indoor spaces, but no luck yet.

The HART (Historical Arts Rapier Training) group on Facebook is growing.
• Will write up an announcement to be posted on the web site.

Minister of Lists

Erich: We have lists.

I have been looking at an indoor site for fencing.
• The ninth floor of Meetup’s space at Broadway/Lafayette might be available for use if we had a Meetup group. Am investigating

Recent Events

Goat’s Tavern

Discussed earlier.

Schola in the Solar

Alienor: Schola in the Solar was a roaring success. We had 18 attendees, 11 classes, 8 instructors. Budgeted $200 for food; spent $196.47. Collected $116 in donations for the feast. Cost to the canton: $80.47. Reports completed & filed with kingdom, checks cut & distributed.

Looking for a site for next year. Have a new site lead from Lady Lada, the Japan Society. Will also be looking at Barnard, as suggested by Lady Vika, and re-visiting Holy Trinity Church in Inwood, which asks for a percentage of the gate as its fee.

Upcoming Events

EK Twelfth Night: January 6

Alienor: It’s in Maine; anyone else interested in going to it?

Deck the Halls: January 13

Discussed earlier.

King’s and Queen’s A&S and Bardic Championships: Feb 10

Lada: Directions to the site in Mt. Kisco are now available on the web.

We are not arranging for the block of hotel rooms as it turned out they were actually cheaper on Travelocity then through the block contract.

Would especially love to get local volunteers from Northpass or nearby to assist with breakdown and cleanup at the end of the event.

Schedule: staff on site at 8:00, doors open at 9:00, court ends at 6:00, no feast, so hopefully can complete breakdown and be out by 8:00 or so.

Bear’s Tavern: March 3–5

Autocrat will be Oliver.

Other Events

Chinua: Given the hour, let’s table discussion of demos and other events that are more than four months in the future.

Old Business

Officer Elections

Discussed earlier.

Bylaws Committee

John: We made a bunch of progress at last meeting, on November 12. Will decide on next meeting date tonight and meet soon (January 6?). Then we will present material for consideration by the officers. Will need to set aside a significant amount of time for discussion at that time. Perhaps we can pick a separate date for this rather than trying to squeeze it into an evening commons, as it’s likely that we will need most of the day for it.

Regalia Committee

Lada: We are looking at getting field coronets as an intermediate step.
• Sofya asked Ervald to come up with some designs.
• Sofya suggested a craftsman who will make a proposal.
• Lada talked to Anton, who will also make a proposal.

Upcoming Meetings

• December 15: John and Rufina’s in Richmond Hill
• January 19: Alienor’s in Manhattan
• February 16: Seeking volunteers. Perhaps Jacqueline and Luigj, or Richard the Poor?

Other Discussion


Chinua: I have a concern about paragraph 4.B.3. of the PPM on financial liability, which states that event autocrats are liable for financial shortfall if an event goes over budget and incurs a loss.
John: The original version of this decades ago was that event autocrats were always liable for any loss incurred by the event. In the Alexandre and Eularia era, we changed this to only apply if they went over budget, and added a clause that the finance committee could waive that if the situation merited.
Chinua: The liability provision as written here may be in violation of EK policy.
Mathghamhain: Maybe we can rewrite this to clarify that it’s only intended for use in egregious situations.
• Bylaws committee will consider this at their next meeting.


Rufina: Motion to adjourn.
Beatrice: Seconded.

Meeting ended at 9:59.