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Branch Histories

Shire of Pavlok Gorod
(aka Pavlovsk Gavan)

Per chevron throughout vert
and argent, two laurel wreaths
argent and a brown bear rampant
proper, maintaining in its mouth
a fish gules.

Pavlovsk Gavan is the Russian name from the 1800's for Kodiak - but they'd like to document it if possible - haven't dug yet - so this is their holding name.

In May, 2007, the name was submitted to the West Kingdom College of Heralds (with a device for the branch), as Pavlok Gorod, and the Kingdom heralds sent it on to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms with this documentation:

Pavlok is from Wickenden and is a diminutive of the header spelling Pavel; it is dated to the Fifteenth Century. Gorod is a Russian word meaning city, dated to 1521 in Wickenden. Wickenden's appendix of Russian place names in period lists Vysokii Gorod, from the Fourteenth Century meaning "High Town"; Ol'gov Novyi Gorodok, from the Thirteenth Century, meaning "Oleg's New Town"; Ivan-gorod, a fortified port on Gulf of Finland that was built in 1492, meaning "Ivan City." The last example demonstrates the use of a masculine given name in the uninflected form, followed by Gorod. Thus the name is properly formed.

The Branch's website is at:

The following is by Katerina Evstokh'eva (aka Tama Katerina), Seneschal of Pavlok Gorod, and posted with her permission (updates added at end, 11/11/2011):

Since I do not want to mix dates up, I will be using mundane years. Also, while I began with mundane names for everyone in Pavlovsk Gavan, everyone else's name is SCA. It was not intentional, but I realized halfway through that I was doing that, so I added this note...

January 1998 - I returned from 5 months in Winter's Gate, having discovered the SCA while there and having been granted an AoA at Winter Coronet in Wasilla. I nosed around a bit here in Kodiak. Jenny Hansen expressed an interest in belonging to an SCA group, but little other support was forthcoming from anyone else. Feeling as if I could not start a group completely alone, I spent several years researching possible names for the future group, practicing with the local domra/ balalaika group and maintained my involvement in the SCA through emails, listservs, private research, and 3-4 trips to the mainland each year.

January 2003 - Rebecca and Sean Bowles contacted me. They were a Coast Guard couple who were very enthusiastic about the SCA and had been given my name by someone from the Principality. (No clue who.)

February 2003 - Our first meeting was held to begin the process of establishing an SCA group. The three of us were the only ones present, although we had spoken of this to several friends. I brought all of the officer's handbooks I had been ordering and collecting over the intervening years and we made plans to advertise heavily in the community.

March 2003 - Our second meeting was primarily a discussion of what was working and what was not. We decided to try for a big meeting in April. Advertising continued.

April 2003 - Hard work paid off. Over 30 people came to our first potluck. Many left contact information. Nearly all came in garb.

May 2003 - Those interested in founding a local group met to set up a plan. We agreed to keep meeting monthly to discuss business and that the potluck format seemed to be working. We also decided to add weekly "teas" at my house for the remaining weeks throughout the summer when we didn't have business meetings. We had two goals in mind - a camp out at the Bear Country music festival in July and a large Newcomer's Event/ Feast in August. We decided that our first group project would be constructing banners of all the officer's devices at the weekly gatherings.

Summer 2003 - We met every week. Sometimes we would have 2-3 people, other times we would have a dozen or more. I shared what I had learned during the intervening years about names. We made officer's banners (they were on the front of the stage at Winter Coronet this year). We began discussing the various types of branches that could be formed with 5 or more members. I solicited information from everybody who would talk with me about the pros and cons of the different branch types.

July 2003 - Three families plus 3-4 individuals camped out in garb at Bear Country. We handed out flyers throughout the event and hosted two meals at our encampment. We had a wonderful time and got a LOT of exposure in the community. This event brought me into contact with the coach for the local fencing guild, Jeff Harman. Since this date he has been a point of contact and passes along our notices to his fighters even though he, himself, is not interested in playing with us. I believe this was also the summer that I ended up at Summer Coronet due to a variety of unexpected circumstances. Ian the Fariner was there with King Jade and his Queen, as well as another visiting King (Outlands perhaps?). I spoke at some length with many people, including Ian the Fariner, regarding our group - seeking information and suggestions for which type of group to become.  This was the first point at which I heard about the zip code provision. When I returned home, I read Corpora and the By-Laws and found the section Ian had referred to. I was relieved to discover that zip codes were not the sole point of definition, but that travel routes should be taken into account as well. All of this was shared with our group's members.

August 2003 - Newcomer's Event consisted of a five course Russian feast, several classes and over 50 participants. The Baron and Baroness of Eskalya came down and hosted the event for us. Those members who had been involved up to that point were presented with Amicus Eskalyae in Their Excellencies court. There is footage somewhere of His Excellency dancing after the feast - a good time was had by all! If memory serves, this was the event at which I asked Baroness Annora to release me from her service as a Lady in Waiting because our group had not yet decided which type of group to become. I did not want to unduly influence anyone's decision and felt that Lady in Waiting to Her Excellency was too much of a political position that could be seen to conflict with my status as Seneschale of a fledgling group.

Fall of 2003 - We met 2-3 times per month. Weekly teas at my house become monthly solars where individuals came to work on whatever project they were involved with. Jon and Sonia Clary began hosting the monthly potluck and business meeting because Sean and Rebecca had been overtaken by mundane concerns and could no longer play. At each business meeting we discussed the group options and who would be responsible for what. For three consecutive months we held preliminary votes.

October 2003 - We held the final vote. As Seneschale, I conducted the meeting and mediated discussion, but abstained from the vote. It was unanimously in favor of becoming a Canton of Eskalya. I contacted Bjarni and Annora that night and asked them to speak at their upcoming business meeting regarding our request. It was subsequently approved by the members of the Barony at their business meeting and so we began writing our petition.

November and December 2003 - I sent rough draft copies of the petition to several Principality and Baronial officers requesting help with the wording and comments. Everything was positive. No concerns were expressed. Somewhere in here we sent our information to the Baronial officers and received warrants for our officers.

January 2004 - Lady Merona and Rowena presented our petition at the Eskalyan anniversary celebration. It was presented again in Court at Coronet to the Prince and Princess in the presence of the Queen. Again, no concerns were expressed. We were given the impression from the reception of the petition by all involved that this was "a done deal" and that the rest was merely formality.

Spring 2004 - We continued the Solars and Potluck/ Business meetings and added an A&S night to our monthly roster of activities. We did a demo for the local Arts Council and began planning for another event. Some of our officers moved away and were replaced.

April 2004 - We held our first Fantastic Fairytale Fete, again sponsored by Eskalya. In addition to Their Excellencies, Sir Kylson, Princess Amber and Prince Cyrus were present. Classes were held, a demo was done outside, a potluck feast and some competitions occurred. There was also a puppet show and dancing. Later in the evening, the adults adjourned to my home for a post-event bardic. We learned during the course of this day that there was some problem with our petition.  Apparently, it did not travel South with the Queen as we had supposed.  But Princess Amber assured us that she was traveling to Beltane and would take it down and present it herself.

Summer 2004 - We continued gathering 3 times per month, billing ourselves as the Incipient Canton of Pavlovsk Gavan in radio ads and bulletin flyers. Again, we were under the impression that what awaited was a formality and that any day now we would be notified that all was good with the world. We tried to attend Bear Country again, but horrible weather and illness scared off most of us. I believe that Jon and Sonia were tried and true and actually stayed one night. During this time we also worked seriously on a name and device. Several of our members did research for the name and a poll was conducted - Pavlovsk Gavan won. I consulted with Baron Khevron regarding the device and sample devices were presented to the group. I also kept him apprised of our research with the name.

August 2004 - Our second annual Newcomer's Feast was held. Prince Fergus and Thomas Sorngrym were present. They taught marshalling and boffers. His Excellency, Bjarni, was also there as Eskalya was sponsoring the event. He taught heraldry. There were some competitions, an incredible feast based on a Crusader's journey and around 40 people over the course of the day. A post-event bardic was again held at my house.

Fall 2004 - We still had not heard anything by the start of Fall. Lady Bianca had taken over the job of Principality Seneschal, so I spent some time re-hashing with her what was happening with our group.

October 2004 - (just after Crown), Princess Margarita called me to say that she was coming for a visit, spoke with me about Oerthan Renaissance, and we set a date for three weeks hence. I also received an email from Bianca notifying us that our petition had been denied. The message itself was very short, but it included a quote from the Seneschal's handbook. I spent nearly two weeks on the phone with everyone I could think of, trying to ascertain what had happened and the reasons for the denial. Their Excellencies were surprised to hear from me as they had not been notified of this. Several other individuals suggested that if we were unhappy we could appeal the decision.

November 2004 - We dashed together a reasonably good event on such short notice. Called it a Royal Visit and mini-collegium and had just over 30 people show up. Princess Margarita, Baron Bjarni and Baroness Annora were all present. Trebuchets were borrowed from several high school students for mid-afternoon entertainment and food was sideboard potluck. We had a narrated Court - basically an opportunity to teach the populace what happens during a Court by stepping through the process with comments at each step - since it was not an official event. The day before the event, Their Excellencies assisted me with demos at two of the local elementary schools. The day after the event, all of the populace who were able to show up met with Her Highness regarding the decision. People were still very angry and hurt, but conversation was reasonably rational all the way around.

December 2004 - Our monthly business meeting was cancelled for the first time since the initial Feb 03 meeting. Illness, travelling members and the Nutcracker made it impossible to get together. We had also had three more gatherings than we had planned in November and had all agreed that we needed to take time to relax, breath, regroup, and calm down. At least one of our members sent a personal letter directly to King Jade regarding the way we had been treated and the problems with the whole process. At the end of the month, we had a Yule event at Sandy Solenberger's. It seems like there were around 15 people there, including some newcomers, but there might have been more at the high point. I know several people were still out of town though. Our name and device information has been sent to Master Khevron so that he can evaluate it in preparation to submitting it to the College of Heralds.

January 2005 - We met for our monthly business meeting the Wednesday before Coronet. The members felt strongly that we needed to ask the Crown to reconsider the denial of our petition. We discussed counter-arguments for the reasons we had been given. The group charged me with asking if any additional reasons existed, and if it would be possible to re-examine this decision. No one wanted to consider Shire status until this knowledge was acquired. At Coronet, I met with our Peer Advisor, Tancred, King Alden and Queen Constantina and we spoke at some length. I also spoke with Prince Buliwyf after His Coronation. Everyone was very supportive and open minded. They are all willing to listen, but are not making any promises until They have had an opportunity to look into what I have told Them on behalf of our group.

February 2005 – At our monthly business meeting we discussed the conversations I had at Coronet. For the good of the Principality, the group decided to pursue Shire status and wording for a new petition was discussed. We also did a dance demo and class with the local 4H group and have decided to add a monthly dance practice to our activities beginning in March.

March 2005 – The petition is finished and will go into the mail before the third week. We have learned that we will need to do additional research on our name, and may need to choose a different name, however, the members are adamant about staying with a Russian name for the group due to the history of our mundane community. We are still getting together every month for Solars, Potluck/ Business Meetings and A&S nights. We have added a monthly dance practice to our scheduled activities and are co-sponsoring that with the local City Parks and Rec. We have several individuals interested in fighting that are looking forward to the upcoming Heavy and Rapier fighting classes. We are advertising heavily with posters and on the local public radio station. We are planning our 2nd annual Fantastic Fairytale Fete and 3rd annual Newcomer’s Feast. Our group can now boast 22 paid members, split fairly evenly between the adults and children who play with us. And there are another 10 or so individuals who we see intermittently. We are healthy and solid as a group and look forward to achieving official status within the SCA.

Addendum – July, 2007: We resubmitted our name as Pavlok Gorod after consultation with Baron Khevron. Below are his words regarding our history:

(see above -- this is cited word-for-word ...)
West Kingdom Herald’s has passed it on for the final decision and we expect to hear back within the early months of 2008. Once we hear back, we will submit our petition to the Crown requesting a change from incipient to full status as a group. All of our CG members have transferred out leaving us with some shuffling of officers and a slightly smaller core group. Currently we have 6 adult members and a variety of youth members from infancy through high school. The overall total of members right now is 21. The lessening of our size has caused us to cut back somewhat on our activities. We hold 3 regular events per year: Fairytale Fete in April, Newcomer’s Feast in October and St. Stephan’s Day in December. This summer we are also having an outdoor camping event in August that was originally scheduled for July. We continue to hold our monthly business meeting/ potluck. We have also added a weekly rapier practice,but have stopped the solars and dance practices due to a lack of interest. We plan to continue advertising to bring in new members.

January, 2008: This past year we held the 4th annual Fete and a St. Stephan’s Day celebration. The other two planned events had to be cancelled. The camping trip to Pasagshak was inaccessible due to road construction. The Newcomer’s Feast due to personal health issues amongst the autocrat team. However, rapier practices continue to be held every week, the monthly potluck and business meetings have picked back up and planning is in full swing for Fete V. We’ve reinvigorated with a few new members and one returning with the CG. While our paid membership currently shows 20, we actually have another 5-8 unpaid who come to our events and activities regularly and a dozen or more who come to the big events. In addition, we heard this week that our name, Shire of Pavlok Gorod, and device, the upright brown bear with the red salmon in his mouth being the group’s top choice, have finally been passed by the College of Heralds!! We expect to submit the required documentation to finalize our status as a group as soon as we learn what we are expected to do. Over the past five years, we have averaged around 20 paid members each year, have met nearly every month for business meetings/ potlucks, (1-2 per year have been cancelled for various reasons), have done 2-4 events per year and have averaged 4-8 A&S classes a year. Some years we have also had weekly Solars and monthly bardics or dance practices. Currently the interest does not exist to sustain that, but for the past two years, we have had several members who meet every week for Rapier practice and to discuss rapier marshalling, philosophy and quiz each other on the Rules. We still yearn for official status and hope that will finally occur this year.

April 2009: We became a real group just a few months ago!! Huzzah!!! At the Newcomer’s Feast, our banner was presented in Court to Prince Karl and Princess Elisa and our group was recognized as an official branch. King Jade also recognized our status at the Oerthan Winter Coronet held in Eskalya in January. Last year at this time, we held a successful Fete again. I stepped down as Seneschal after five years of service. St. Stephan’s Day brought in a few new members this year as well. The Fete VI held just this past weekend included a live chess game and a medieval science fair – both of which were very enjoyable. We are looking forward to finally holding our summer Pasagshak event this year on Summer Solstice Eve. Rumors of a whole roast pig are circulating.

January 2011: 2010 was a rough year for me personally for health reasons, so I wasn’t as involved. At this point though, we have a solid core of five officers, regular fencing practices, have added in a monthly A&S class for the children and are planning to try to do a bardic once a month too. Several members have received awards, and others have successfully fought their Prizes for the Guild. I meet individually with people who are still working on projects from the fall and am planning a variety of A&S classes. We are small but healthy and have started to help the fellows in Haines as they establish their rapier and general SCA participation. In many ways it was a good year for connecting with old friends and bringing in new.

This group is a Shire of the Barony of Eskalya.

Location: Kodiak Island, Alaska

Description of the history of this branch is a summary from the small amount of information available, from Khevron Oktavii Tikhikovich Vorotnikov.

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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).