This post is mostly for my mother, Auntie Frieda and the handful of other friends who contacted me about the award, and fans of the Oregon Duck.
A couple of weeks ago, I was given an honorary knighthood by the Royal Rosarians. The Rosarians are the folks you see in cream suits, some with colored capes, in almost every parade in Portland. They are the official Greeters and Ambassadors of the City of Portland, the City of Roses. They travel to events outside Portland, and representatives often meet and greet dignitaries and delegations coming in at the PDX airport. No public money is spent on their work. The volunteers serving in the Rosarians donate and fundraise to pay for uniforms and events.
I'm not sure what the qualifications for being made an honorary Knight of the Realm of Rosaria are, other than being nominated by the Rosarian Prime Minister and then filling out a form saying "yes, please, that would be lovely" or words to that effect. The Prime Minister this year is Ray Hanson, and I am very grateful to him for the honor.
The ceremony was conducted in the Washington Park Rose Garden amphitheater, and the knighthoods were bestowed by the 2010 Queen of Rosaria, Victoria Dinu. I've seen Queen Victoria at many events over the course of her year's reign, and I consider her a superstar whose career I will watch and encourage with great interest.
The following photographs are graciously provided by Bill Barry, who volunteers taking photographs for the Rosarians and also has a private photography business, as well as working in real estate.
Queen Victoria knighting me, aided by Royal Regent Sue Klobertanz and Prime Minister Hanson. The white roses in the foreground remind participants of the House of York in the English civil war, the War of the Roses. I chose the rose City of Leeds as my favorite, as it is named for my home town in England and I am pretty sure no other honorees will hail from there. Leeds is about the same size as Portland, and also has clay soils where roses grow well. I plan to plant several City of Leeds roses in my yard here, once I have time to garden again. For you a rose in Portland grows, town that used to be my home.
There was a surprise guest knighted at the end of the ceremony - the Oregon Duck. The Oregon Ducks National Championship football team were Grand Marshals of the Grand Floral Parade this year.
I was thrilled, and managed to be first in line to get my photo taken with him or her afterwards.
Here is the official photograph, with the 2011 Court, Queen Victoria, the Rosarian leaders, and the new knights and dames.
I suspect some will deride this event and my report of it as a waste of time and funding. No public money was spent on the ceremony, and I'm writing it up on Sunday evening when my brain simply isn't up to tackling more difficult work. Most of the Knighting Ceremony honorees are out-of-town dignitaries and local sponsors, who were given a unique-to-Portland ceremony they will talk about for many years. For many of us local folks, it was a break from reality and a chance to celebrate our special community - sometimes weird, sometimes wonderful, but rarely dull. I find occasional short escapes from normal routines help in returning to the never-ending challenges with renewed vigor. Thank you, Royal Rosarians.