Taigh Moran Chat RR 2, Northside Road Wading River, NY 11792 15 November, 1986 Unto the members of the College of Arms and such others who may read this letter, Greetings from Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane, Laurel Queen of Arms! Enclosed herein is the letter of acceptances and returns for the Laurel meeting held on 26 October. Five letters were processed at this meeting: Atenveldt (7/1), Atlantia (7/9), Caid (7/15), West 7/12 and East (7/24). Of 158 submission elements processed, 133 were accepted, 25 were returned for an acceptance rate of 84%. The November meeting will be held on 23 November and at that time will be considered Atenveldt (8/1), Meridies 8/1, Caid (8/12), West (8/17), An Tir (8/24), Middle (7/25) and Atlantia (8/29). The December meeting is scheduled for 21 December and at that time will be considered Atenveldt (9/1), Trimaris (9/2), Trimaris (9/2), Caid (9/9), West (9/17) and Atlantia (9/25). The January meeting is tentatively scheduled for 25 January, 1987. At that meeting will be considered the letters from October, including Atenveldt (10/1), Caid (10/6), Middle (10/17), Middle (10/18), West 10/22), East (10/23) and Calontir (10/30). I also hope to consider at that meeting the letter from Meridies, dated 14 July, which has been alluded to in a number of comment letters. From the comments of a number of members of the College I understand that this letter reached only a selected audience. As I write, neither the letter nor the forms have reached the Laurel Office. If I receive the paperwork before the end of November, this letter will be considered in January. I would ask any member of the College who has not received the letter to contact Beacon or Pennon immediately for a replacement so that I may have the benefit of your comments! Still on hold for procedural reasons are all letters from Ansteorra from the letter of 4/28 on. Star assures me that these problems will shortly be resolved so I would repeat my request for commentary on Ansteorran submissions. Note that this letter includes a new roster of the College. I fully expect that there will be some errors in this listing as I may not have caught all address changes in random comment letters. If so I apologize. I would ask everyone to check this roster for errors and also look carefully at it to update their mailing lists for letters of intent and other College correspondence. There have been some considerable changes in some Kingdoms since Master Baldwin's last roster. On Submissions Paperwork: Enclosed with this letter is an administrative letter devoted entirely to the question of procedures for preparation of letters of intent and forms packets for Laurel. I would suggest that all members of the College peruse this carefully, even if they do not currently have the responsibility for handling submissions. As Dragon and Brigantia learned this summer, in this Society responsibilities can change quite suddenly and it is at their request that this letter was prepared. In conjunction with this letter I am making a few changes in the scheduling process for letters of intent. These changes, affecting letters dated 1 December or later are as follows: A letter dated in a given month and postmarked within a week or so of its cover date will still be automatically scheduled for the third following month. Thus all letters dated in November will be scheduled for the February meeting. However, in view of the serious problems which have arisen in the past because of delays in receipt of paperwork by the Laurel Office, I am now requiring the paperwork packet to be sent to the Laurel Office within one calendar month of the stated date of the letter of intent. If I have not received the packet within five weeks of the date of the letter of intent, I will request an explanation. If none is forthcoming and/or the packet has not arrived by the beginning of the month prior to the meeting, consideration of the letter will be postponed a month. Thus if a letter were dated 15 January and would normally be scheduled for the April meeting, the paperwork packet should be in my hands by 15 February. If it had not arrived by around 20 February, I would enquire about it. Failing a solid explanation or the arrival of the packet by the beginning of March, the letter would be postponed until the May meeting. Note that a complete paperwork packet includes the payment of all submission fees and no letter will be acted on until all fees for that letter have been paid. On Submission Fees: Effective with letters of intent dated 1 January, 1987, or later, a fee of one dollar per submission element must accompany every submission received by the Laurel Office. In other words, the exemption from fees which previously existed for "official" submissions is abolished completely as of that date. The rationale for this is as follows: a. The processing of "official submissions" from Kingdoms, Principalities and local groups is a measurable fraction of the total cost of submissions processing. Such submissions do not cost less than individual submissions, but contribute nothing to the income of the office. Master Baldwin specified that certain fees should be charged for group submissions but many submissions are still "exempt". b. "One submission element, one fee" would simplify the rules, the bookkeeping and the processing of submissions at both Kingdom and Laurel levels. In a period when we are trying to simplify the bureaucracy, it seems insane to maintain a multitier fee system. c. At the time the original policy of free submissions was made, the intent wasto encourage groups to submit names and devices. Corpora now requires that action of official groups so that the "social interest" in the free submissions no longer exists. d. Groups, even more than individuals, should be able to afford the cost of a submission fee. In a period when we are focusing on financial and social stability as a requirement for official groups, it seems reasonable to expect that a viable group could come up with the relatively trivial fee for submitting a name and device. If they could not, perhaps they should not be a group. By the same token, Principalities and Kingdoms should be able to afford the cost of submitting names and badges for their Orders as well as armory for assorted functionaries. I specifically raised this issue with the Board because the original policy was instituted at the behest of the Board, if my dim memory of my early days in the Society holds true, and I felt change in policy should require specific Board approval. I have been informed by the Laurel Ombudsman that the Board approves this action. For most Kingdoms it will probably be simplest just to apply their normal fee schedule to "official submissions", but it should be noted that it is entirely up to the individual Kingdoms what fees they choose to levy from groups so long as the requisite fee is forwarded to the Laurel Office. On "Special Services: At the time that the Laurel Ombudsman called me from the Board meeting to enquire whether I would accept the office I now hold, I was informed that the Board was minded to do away with a number of categories of items now registerable, most specifically badges and names for households and for alternate personas. Since this was a hotly debated issue in the College, I begged for the time to make a case at the October Board meeting that such an action was not necessary or, perhaps, desirable. As a result of my representations at that meeting, the Board has returned the issue to the College. I have been directed by the Laurel Ombudsman "to go to the College and say that the Board is concerned that in previous discussions of this matter the general interest, and the interest of fairness, have not gotten as much attention as it might. Tell them the Board wants them to weigh the issues themselves, but also to think how the interests of the membership as a whole can be judged, including that very large group that is skeptical of regulation (whether by the Board or by the College), and seldom talks to heralds." I would like any feedback (in addition to those comments already made on the issue with regard to the draft rules last spring) to reach me by the first of January so I can formulate a coherent "sense of the College" for the February Board meeting. If anyone has any questions about this or would like the complete text of the communication from the Board on this matter, please get in touch with me. On the Armorial and Ordinary: In the wake of the Board decision with regard to the generation of a unified listing of Society and protected mundane armoury, I directed Morsulus at Pennsic to give up the project of publishing an Armorial this summer and return any deposits he had received. Frankly, it seemed unfair to issue a volume which would be completely outmoded in a year. The fact remains that the failure to produce timely updates of the previous edition of the Armorial has rendered extremely difficult the task of checking for Society conflicts (which generate by far the largest number of returns). I have therefore directed Morsulus to begin preparation of a consolidated update which will include all Society registrations from the time of the last published Armorial through the end of Master Baldwin's tenure, i.e. from the letter for the March, 1984, meeting through the last correction letter sent out by Master Baldwin. This project is well under way and should be available with any kind of luck around Twelfth Night. It will be published in a short edition by Free Trumpet Press and should cost under ten dollars, hopefully well under that sum as befits an interim publication. On the issue of mundane armoury: Coming as it did with little or no prior notice, the Board decision on mundane armoury has created a certain amount of confusion on the part of the populace and the heralds. In an effort to defuse the situation, the Board of Directors has issued a statement on the question to be published in all newsletters. This statement addresses the general issue; several Principal Heralds have found it necessary to issue statements of their own to clarify the immediate effects, i.e. none. The process of transforming the basis of heraldry in the Society is going to take some months to complete and should be coordinated with the drastic simplification of the rules which the Board mandated me to carry out. The most optimistic timetables which have been proposed for this process would not have it in place before the beginning of A.S. XXII; given the fact that this is a sparetime, volunteer organization, reality may well lag behind optimism. A fuller discussion of the tasks involved and the probable timing for the completion of these will appear within the next month. What I need most from all of you now is your feedback on the criteria which should be used for determining the items of mundane armoury. I have been told to have definite criteria and numbers of items to be included for Board approval at the February meeting so the time is not great for discussion. Please gather your thoughts on this issue as quickly as possible and give me the benefit of your wisdom as soon as possible. To this point such discussion and feedback as has circulated about the College has focused on the wisdom and viability of the basic decision; what I need now is your feelings regarding the practical logistics involved in implementing the decision. Your servant,
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