If you’re wondering where Lightwood has been lately and what’s going on with the Canton, here’s the news.

The last few years of bushfires and plague have been difficult ones for everyone. Here in the Huon Valley, everybody knows someone who has had to close a business or move away because it wasn’t possible to keep going with no tourism income and frequent supply chain disruptions. In the middle of all trouble like that, leisure activities always take a back seat, and that’s worse when the leisure activities involve social interaction during a time of social distancing.

As a result, the small number of remaining Lightwoodians had a choice: close the Canton, or convert it to a Hamlet, a type of SCA group that demands much less of its members. Neither option was great, but we were tending toward the second when our Kingdom Seneschal, Countess Beatrice, offered a third option. And this is where things get amusing.

See, back around the time of the Tasmanian fires, when Lightwood was already suffering the financial woes that the rest of Australia got to experience a year later, we decided to put the group into what we called hibernation. It would continue to exist, but we would have no activities or meetings, not attempt to attract new members, and wait out the worst of the disaster in the hope that the next new year would see an improvement.

Unfortunately, the new year in question was 2020, and we all know how that went.

But right at the start of that, our Kingdom Seneschal made the very emphatic point that “hibernation” is not one of the options for SCA groups. Either we held a bare minimum of activities and submitted the required reports, or the Kingdom would have no choice but to shutter the group. We went along with that, doing very infrequent activities and keeping the group on life support. In time, we held a feast and got some interest from new people… and then the plague hit Tasmania and it all went belly-up. We were about to admit defeat when our Kingdom Seneschal came to us with this new idea. She called it “dormancy”, and it was a new policy designed to allow for groups struggling during the pandemic. She didn’t call it “hibernation”, but that’s what it was.

So Lightwood is now in hiber– sorry, is now dormant. We’ve turned our bank account over to the Barony to look after, and we no longer run events or advertise activities. Our last two officers, Canton Seneschal Adelindis filia Gotefridi and Herald Karl Faustus von Aachen, are inactive and off their rosters. Medieval events can still happen in the Huon Valley, and if the plague lets up we’ll encourage people to get involved again, but for now they’re run under the auspices of the Barony of Ynys Fawr, the all-Tasmania group.

What does this mean for you? Well, there’s not much going on in the SCA anywhere in the Australian sector of the Kingdom of Lochac right now, due to mundane decisions that I won’t rehash because I’ll start swearing again, so the difference is pretty much undetectable for the moment. When that passes, some time before the heat death of the universe, we will go back to having Arts & Sciences activities and feasts and demos and all that fun stuff, temporarily calling ourselves the Barony of Ynys Fawr until we have enough people interested and willing to commit. Then we will approach the Kingdom and ask if we can have our name back, and the keys to our bank account.

In short, borrowing a slogan from some racists who don’t need it: the South will rise again!

Until then, we recommend keeping an eye on the Baronial Facebook group and doing some sewing so you look good for the next event. We will keep you informed!