Order of the Pelican
In the SCA the Companions of the Order of the Pelican (OP) are those who have been recognised by the Crown and awarded a Patent of Arms (the highest level of award) for unrelenting service to the Kingdom and the Society, along with their consistent display of the virtues of Grace, Courtesy and Chivalric Demeanour.
According to Corpora:
- Members of the Order of the Pelican may choose to swear fealty, but are not required to do so. The candidate must have attained the standard of service to the Society or any of its branches equal to that of his or her prospective peers, which is above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society.
- The duties of the members of the order are as follows:
- To set an example of courtesy and chivalrous conduct.
- To respect the Crown of the kingdom; to support and uphold the Laws of the kingdom and Corpora.
- If in fealty, to support and uphold the Crown of his or her kingdom.
- To enrich the kingdom by sharing his or her knowledge and skills.
- To advise the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Pelican
Generally it takes many years (often ten or more) of unstinting service to be recognised as a Member of the Order of the Pelican. Service is generally rendered through running events (autocratting), holding offices or undertaking work on behalf of the SCA.
The heraldic symbol of the order of the pelican is a pelican in her piety - that is, a pelican tearing at her breast to feed her chicks with drops of her own blood. This symbol (any pelican, in fact) can only be worn, used or displayed by members of the Order of the Pelican.
Many areas have a number of Pelicans, who by their nature are often easy to find; they're the ones hard at work, and are often known for their frequent attendance at events. Ask around at a meeting or an event, and you'll be sure to have one pointed out to you. Some pelicans will wear the symbol of a pelican in order to make it easier for you to find them. Others believe their actions will speak louder than a symbol. Feel free to ask them about the Order, and about the SCA. As Peers, it's their job to pass on knowledge and assist gentles whenever possible.