To the Lochac Guild of Brewers
Greeting from Rurik farserkr, Clerk of the Guild, Master in the Guild of Lochac Brewers, Master in the Mordenvale Company of Brewers and Companion of the Order of the Laurel.
Sorry for the lateness of this report but I have been a little busy with a baby who will not sleep.
It seems not so long ago that we were a fledgling group on the edge of Lochac practicing our craft not knowing how to take part in the larger discourse of the kingdom. However the last twelve months has seen some major changes for us as a cross-community within the Kingdom. We have been acknowledged as a contributing group with recognition of our Charter by the Crown. This charter has been used to establish a ranking system with in our guild and conferred upon two member ranks and we have held our first guild level prize. All this is quite a major achievement for what has been a craft that has traditionally been on the edges of the Kingdom. You all should be proud of the part you have played in its success.
At Rowany Festival past we held our AGM in accordance with our charter, at which we voted in a clerk for the following year (Yours Truly) and the new guild ranking system for craftsmen & craftswomen. While I am enjoying the role of Clerk this is the last time I can do it and as such I will not be seeking the position next year. I have had one person show interest in the position that I will catch up with in the near future. However this is a fun job that works well in a team so I would encourage everybody to think about how they could contribute to the guild in an administrative capacity. It is great thing to do, you meet lots of people who you might not in normal SCA and they tend to give you a drink or two 😉
Also at Festival I received completed paperwork from Mistress Rohesia Le Sarjent & Lady Iseabail inghean Domhnall mhic Donchaidh for ranking. As such Rohesia will be issued a writ for Journeyman’s ranking and Iseabail will be issued a rank for Craftsmen. I have also received some other paperwork from people that I need to follow up which I will do in the near future. If you think you have given me something and have not heard from me please email me in private and I will follow it up.
The other piece of business that arose out of the AGM was the role of imbibers/tasters within the guild. There was a strong feeling that we should find a way to include them within the guild ranking. This is a good thing and we need to discuss this in the coming year. As it stands I have no idea on how to handle this so I am throwing it out to the guild for ideas. So please people let’s hear them!
I remain yours in service,
It is with a certain amount of trepidation that I start this conversation because it is an emotive issue with good arguments for having and not having a system of personal ranking with in the guild. However we agreed as a body to have this conversation at some point & there is no time like the present.
The first thing that needs to be said is according to our charter membership to the guild is by subscription to the email list & by the function of the Guild Clerk. This conveys the rights, privileges and franchise of being a member of the guild not ones personal rank and I will personally oppose any changes that will cause this not to be so. As the strength of the guild is in the diversity of its members: not the rank of its members. Also I would like to add hear that taking on a role with in the guild should never be dependent on Rank. All guild officers should be open to all members and all members should get a say in whom the officers should be.
Over my two years as Clerk (one as clerk and one in the proto guild time) I have had a few conversations around what guild ranks means to different people and the opinions I have heard from different members has been varied to say the least. They have been from “there should be no guild ranking and if there is I will not be involved” though to “we must have a system & have it NOW.” One thing I have noticed in these conversations* is that the people who have wanted a system of ranking for what ever reason have not been recognized in the Kingdom award system. Where people who have been recognized tended to not like the idea of guild ranking. I am saying this so that people are informed and are mindful of other people’s point of view as we discuss this. I think given the robustness of our Charter we can accommodate most people’s point of view and the level of involvement they would like to have.
The one thing we should keep in mind though out this whole process is the aim of the guild is to network brewers, brew, educate in our art, expand our collective knowledge and make all this available to the Kingdom at large. Any thing that is going to impede these aims should be abandoned if a workable solution cannot be found.
In the coming months I would like to have a conversation about do we need a rank system (Why & Why not), if we do what should it look like (do we do what everybody else has done or do we make out own model), what level would the top rank be at, what skills are expected at each level, how do we measure it. And how do we administer it. To make this work people need to be involved other wise it is not worth much.
I remain yours in service,
Clerk of the guild
*If you think I am talking about you I am not; each opinion has been given multiple times and I am conveying a general idea of the conversations