My time as Kingdom Seneschal will end at Festival, after an exhilarating and sometimes surprising ride.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect for me was the extent to which the Kingdom's officers and populace were willing to back a steady and sometimes seemingly-relentless process of reform. This began with Their then-Majesties Theuderic and Engelin's call at the start of Their reign for a focus on recruitment and retention. And it persisted through a long series of reforms undertaken by our two local incorporations, the Council of the Purse, the Seneschallate, and many Kingdom officers, each in their own areas.
Such change wasn't easy, and wasn't necessarily welcome everywhere it was felt. But thanks to the support and efforts of so many people, it has led to marked improvements in our communications, infrastructure, office handovers, dispute resolution, planning, training and financial management -- all of which are helping to make Lochac and its component groups more robust and more capable.
Like many of our Kingdom Officers, I have been rather distracted of late by various mundane circumstances. Nonetheless, it gave me great pleasure in March to step back for a moment, take a good look around, and then report on a string of happy, active, growing and financially-sound groups. Most of them, like the Kingdom as a whole, were yet again overtaking previous membership records.
It's not all wine and roses - a few groups are still suffering from needless fractures, or are seeking more members or new officers to spread the load that currently falls on too few shoulders. And in a Society as complex and "interesting" as the SCA, there are always going to be imperfections that need fixing, as well as new needs, new ideas and new projects -- not to mention novel demands imposed by the mundane world!
Thus, my successor Mistress Katherina Weyssin, and the wonderful and ever-evolving crop of officers working with her around our Kingdom, are bound to face challenges of their own -- challenges which I know they will handle with great care and aplomb.
In closing, I can only offer my profound thanks for the vast amount of support I received in office, expressed in so many diverse and helpful ways from so many people across the Kingdom, of every rank and degree. And to the magnificent efforts that each officer put into their own area or speciality, month after month.
It helped, enormously.
Finally, some words from the past which have constantly guided me during my term of office, and which I hope will likewise guide the Kingdom and all its people, so that we can always aspire to the best possible result at the least possible cost to each other:
It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder.' - Aldous Huxley
In service to the Crown, Kingdom and our Dreams,
Bartholomew Baskin, OP, LoG, CB, OAA (Caid), PJ
Kingdom of Lochac
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