We come to you to express Our feelings, and present to you the difficult position that has come before Us, regarding the upcoming Tournament for the Crown of An Tir.
It has been a long and heavy journey through these past years and it has come time to find Our heirs, who will continue to guide the Kingdom forward in these troubled times.
This demands that We attempt to hold a Tournament in Our Name during this pandemic, despite the current climate at hand.
Considering this, We are at a position where We must minimize the attendance at Our Crown Tournament to only bare essential personnel.
The Tournament itself is the key purpose of this event – to find Heirs to the Thrones of An Tir.
No other activity or purpose is required beyond this, and We must make the difficult decision to only allow those required by Kingdom Law / Corpora to be in attendance.
We do not wish any to misconstrue the meaning or terminology of “required” persons.
Our intent is to allow all who can and wish to contest the Tournament for the Crown to do so, as well as only the bare essential personnel to perform this singular task.
In this We must make allowance to limit available space to only those attending for this specific purpose, and responsibly reduce any chance of exposure to the prevailing issues of COVID-19 and its variants.
This has been a difficult process and decision to come to, and We have had limited options allowed to Us, by decisions well beyond Our power to control or guide.
Limiting attendance is the only way to maintain our original goal of protecting our people’s health.
As you know, An Tir was the first Kingdom to shut down activities prior to the BoD identifying the need to enact a decision across the entire Society.
An Tir has always been at the forefront of decisions regarding public health and safety within this pandemic, and remained aware and responsive to the needs of its people.
Timing is a major consideration regarding the upcoming Tournament.
It was decided to hold the event now instead of pushing the Tournament out later in the year and have inclement weather force Us to hold it indoors.
An indoor event would require attendance limits, vaccine passes, mandatory masks, and potentially greater restrictions, as time moves forward in this pandemic.
At the greatest risk, We could potentially see a complete shutdown of indoor activities being held, which would then cancel the Tournament, altogether.
As for the location, British Columbia is by far the lowest transmission and infection rates of the 3 major regions (BC, WA, OR) of the Kingdom.
This brings the tournament into what is deemed to be the safest location, regarding Covid.
Additionally, this new site to be utilized has previously held multiple Crown tournaments and was available on short notice to achieve this goal.
The new event team has successfully conducted many Kingdom level events, and was able to quickly and effectively communicate within this very limited time be able to manage this extremely large and stressful task of performing this event, as well as navigate the multitude of additional requirements and barriers set before us.
Preservation of Crown Succession :
An Tir has long and esteemed line of succession that has never been broken. We feel great pride in this and We wish to protect it at all cost.
As communicated to Us, the SCA Board of Directors had set down a mandate requiring a change-over before the end of January 2022, or they will instead set a regent to stand in the place of the Crown of An Tir.
Given the uncertain nature of potential events, and further pushed by this mandate set forth by the BoD, this presented a terrible risk to the great history of Our Kingdom that We dearly cherish and have been entrusted to preserve.
This is not ideal, and certainly not the position We believed to be facing when We postponed many events for sake of health and safety amongst Our people.
These postponements were in good faith, as when the BoD lifted restrictions on events, it was stated that no Kingdom would be required to hold any events if they did not feel that they would be safe and successful within the concerns of the current pandemic and its effects.
We took this to heart and moved ahead with Our progressive return to play schedule, monitoring the safety risks appropriately.
Events that posed too great of a risk were cancelled or We limited events and activities to achieve this goal.
We stand by these decisions done in good faith of the BoD’s statement upon return to play.
With the position presented to Us now, by this January change-over timeline set by the BoD, We found that We had no other choice but to hold Our Tournament now to achieve finding Our Heirs, despite the unfavourable conditions and health risks We all find ourselves still within.
This is a situation no one could be pleased about.
We simply could not bear to have the lineage of Our Kingdom be interrupted by the appointment of a regent. It was imperative to act now and find any way to preserve the history of Our Kingdom.
This required thorough review of current state and provincial health status and regulations, and quick and decisive action to move the expected location of Our tournament.
The original Crown Tournament was to be held in a central area within the Kingdom. We fought hard to maintain this.
Aside from honouring the event team that worked so hard for the original event, We also believe that this Crown Tournament would best serve the Kingdom to be held in a more central location to allow all to attend and contest for the Thrones.
We believe all who wish to compete for the Crowns should be free to do so without any impediment, and Our intention was to make that possible.
We were not in favour of removing the location to the northern side of the border, however the border closure and restrictions from the southern side left Us with no real choice within this required timeline.
We believe the Crown of An Tir should be represented and held by all.
Our wish is for the Crown to represent the whole of the Kingdom, and to be freely contested by any who may set themselves to the task.
This is the closest that We can all come to achieving that goal, within the time We have been allowed.
We understand the concern of this tournament being held in such a close vicinity to where it has remained these last 2 years.
We strongly believe in the Crown moving throughout the Kingdom to best represent all reaches and all peoples within Our Realm.
We can simply hope that this will be achieved through this Tournament.
It is Our request that in the days to come, Our people can find the understanding to accept Our decision and actions to preserve Our Kingdoms history and achieve the requirements presented by the BoD.
There are many people working hard to manage and mitigate the issues and difficulties within this. Many are the same individuals and officers who have faithfully served Our Kingdom and Our people for so long through this pandemic. They have fought with heart and soul to hold us all together and are giving endlessly of their time to best serve us all.
There is simply no form of thanks and kindness that can repay their efforts, and We will forever be in their debt.
Though this announcement may come as a surprise to many, We ask for your trust in knowing that all avenues were exhausted to find the best solution. There are many people involved in this direction and they are all deserving of your faith and kindness. They have done their very best, and An Tir is truly served well by their efforts.
Our people and Our officers are Our best resource for the decisions We as the Crown must make for Our Kingdom.
Without them, We would not be able to serve Our people to Our fullest.
They can only present the pieces of what ultimately will make up Our final decision.
They are not responsible for any frustrations or woes that may fall on Our people. That responsibility lays singularly on the head of the Crown.
It is with a heavy heart that We move forward with this decision, as We have known well before that this would not suit all that remain under Our Rule.
For this We feel regret, and a great weight of the responsibilities We hold as your King and Queen.
We did not wish this moment to come, or the decision We were left to make. For this, We ask for your understanding.
We ask that you trust in Our love for Our people.
To trust that We took all pains to protect Our history and Our Kingdom, and keep it whole.
And if We have erred in Our judgement, We hope that you find in your hearts only forgiveness and love.