Event Review - Thirtieth Year White Scarf Celebration - by Robin of Gilwell
(Posted with permission. Originally sent to the Ansteorran email list on April 21, 2009.)
It had all the ingredients to be a disaster. Cars stuck in the mud, list field unfightable so we fought on concrete, event ended early, at least one car accident, many activities canceled -- a dreary, rainy, muddy event.
Only it wasn't.
It was a shining moment of love and joy and nostalgia and honor and excitement.
King Gunthar opened with gracious and powerful words. Mistress Hanna, Baroness Rixende, and Lord Sylvius made a banner for the White Scarf and presented it in court.
The Roses provided cake and ice cream for the White Scarf birthday party, with two specially decorated cakes, one with an exquisitely painted top [edit: depicting a rapier and roses, including a blue rose representing Countess Tessa.] We took pictures of all the White Scarves, and various people's lineages. Don Durrmast returned from An Tir. Don Diego returned from AEthelmarc. Osprey returned from Gleann Abheann.
We greeted people we hadn't seen in years. Four of the first seven White Scarves were present.
Three generations of Moondragon.
Don Diego brought a copy of an illuminated family tree of Tivar's White Scarf all the way from AEthelmarc as a gift for Tivar.
We fought a memorial tournament for Don Christoforo, which Piet won in a final bout against Stephen Crowley.
Pictures and old documents were passed around (in a notebook compiled by Mistress Serena), including an 18 year old trivia quiz. (Who won the first Queen's Champion tourney in Ansteorra? Who was the first Queen's Champion in Ansteorra? No, they aren't the same answer.)
In front of the assembled White Scarves, Queen Elizabeth gave a Queen's Rapier to Duchess Sieglinde Syr, for her work in the eighties developing the bond of love between the fencers and the Queen.
For the first time in over a quarter century, Gilwell challenged the world (to be fought at Steppes Warlord, the last event for practice before Queen's.)
Stephen Crowley received the Sable Talon for rapier combat.
And a group of guys, mostly from Shadowlands, spent the afternoon pushing cars out of the mud. Wet, muddy and unkempt, they produced more laughter and singing than anyone else. Kudos to their extravagant and sloppy devotion to helping others. (Kudos also to Darkwood Armory, who donated a t-shirt to each of them, so they'd have a clean, dry shirt to wear home.)
Unto the baronies of Stargate and Loch Soilleir, who chose to honor the White Scarf in this way, at an event that already had a big theme, my most humble and appreciative thanks.
Those of you who missed it, well, you won't see another like it for ten years. (But I can't in fairness call you stick-in-the-muds. We were the ones stuck in the mud.)
Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
Note added: One vehicle wreck was in heavy rain 10 minutes away from this White Scarf reunion site. Count Simonn and Countess Tessa (they who had created Tivar as the premier Don), en route bringing dozens of festive champagne flutes, were caught in a hydroplane crash. Their truck was rendered totaled. Simonn was not injured, Tessa was, yet the champagne flutes she so carefully packaged were fine. The flutes were handed off to other traveling attendees then Tessa and Simonn were met in the pouring rain and driven to their hometown hospital. At the next event, Queen Elizabeth gave a Queen's Rapier to Countess Tessa intended the reunion date for her devotion to recognizing and promoting rapier the seventies and eighties and continuing to inspire the community worldwide.
Photographs of the event can be seen here Brenna MacDonald's Photo Gallery