The Autumn season is one of the busiest times for Sandum citizens, and this has certainly been the case for us this year. We have celebrated the Armilustrium with much fanfare and joy, we have held a successful CPS Party Congress, and we have just finished an election that was the most participated in our history. Sandum citizens are becoming more and more committed to our humble micronation and are more and more interested in its independent cultural and social message.
A successful Autumn will mean a busy Winter, too. As this report discusses below, Sandus and her citizens will have much on their plates in the New Gregorian Year: a new government official will have to find her way to plan holiday celebrations and share holiday spirit; a body of five interreges will interview and select candidates for the position of heir who will take up the position of Sôgmô when það passes; and, new honours, awards, and prizes will be given and established in the New Year.
It is the Brumalia season in Sandus, also known as the “Halcyon Days.” Taking part in the spirit of the season, we are pleased to announce that Sandus has passed another major milestone in the history of its charity tax system: in 2018, Sandus has donated more than $5,000 USD to charitable foundations (sometimes to individuals themselves) and volunteered more than 1,000 hours!
Charity Taxes: Sandus has donated more than $5,000 in 2018!
Sandus has donated more than $5,000 USD in the past administrative year of 2018. After donating $1,095 in the winter, $2,174 in the spring, and $1,628 in the summer, recent reports are showing that (with only two citizens reporting) Sandus has donated $1,543.65 in the autumn—putting Sandus more than $1,400 over the $5,000 milestone! Never before have Sandum citizens donated so much money in one year alone. Sandum citizens donated to religious organisations and communities (Buddhist temples, Christian churches), museums, human rights organisations, wild life and environmental charities, organisations dedicated to LGBTQ+ equality and anti-Semitism, and other political charities.
Sandum citizens, likewise, volunteered more time this year than in previous years. 136 hours were volunteered for the benefit of others in the last season alone, with Sandum citizens volunteering time to political campaigns in the United States, serving as officials in student organisations, providing education, and going beyond the expectations of their job titles to serve others—without financial reward.
Election 2018: Sôgmô’s Legitimacy Unanimously Supported, 88.9% Participation
The Sôgmô has received the unanimous support of the Sandum people to continue to govern and reign the State of Sandus. 88.9% of eligible Sandum voters turned out to vote for the Sôgmô’s reign, the highest turnout ever recorded. Eight votes in total were cast.
Five of those eight votes cast were also ballots for members of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus. They voted in the election on the Party’s Platform which was recently drafted by Party Secretary Adam Camillus von Friedeck. The ballots cast unanimously approved the Party Secretary’s platform.
Two petitions were cast, as well. One concerned diplomatic relations with the country of Aabaro, while the other petitioned the Sôgmô to review citizenship law to make it easier to become a Sandum citizen. This petition will be addressed by því over þess winter holiday.
Quot estis in convivio: Sôgmô creates, appoints Feaster
At the November 2018 Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, Party members focused on encouraging cultural cooperation and integration between citizens. A variety of solutions were discussed—encouraging “Sandum-adjacent” people to apply for citizenship, giving gifts to Sandum citizens, encouraging participation in holidays and online discussions—but one solution focused on creating a functionary, bureaucratic office to hold joyous events for all Sandum citizens involved.
On 20 December, during the Saturnalia, that position has now become the “Feaster,” or epulo in Latin after the Ancient Roman college of priests. The Sôgmô created the position yesterday in a decree announced on Sandum media.
Sisenna Melville, who is also the Bishop of ἡ Ἔκκλησία τῆς Σανδῆς (the Church of Sandus, a sodality of the Collegium Sacerdotum cooperative), has been appointed the first Sandum feaster.
The feaster is broadly charged with performing holiday duties, such as planning events and sharing information on the holiday—as well as sharing the spirit of the holiday! Special tasks include preparing for and celebrating important Sandum holidays, whether with other Sandum citizens or non-Sandum people, and consulting one-on-one with Sandum citizens on how to share the holiday spirit.
Melville will be compensated with the standard worker’s salary of 8¶c, and is entitled to (but does not automatically receive) a knighthood. (She already has one as virtue of her bishopric.) As a knight, she will as feaster receive a special charge of a patera or chalice on her coat of arms, and Feasters also receive an official carol.
Heir Needed: Caucus of Quinque Interreges to sit in 2019
The search for the Sôgmô’s heir has begun.
According to the May 2018 law on succession, the process for finding an heir lasts one year. It begins in the December before the anniversary of Sandus’s creation divisible by five (2019, 2024, and so on) with the sitting of a caucus of five interreges. The caucus is comprised of the three major Sandum officials in our republican constitution (the Sôgmô, the Party Secretary, and the Facilitator of the Council, also known together as the “Three Grand State Officers”). The Sôgmô appoints one interrex, while both the Party Secretary and the Facilitator appoint the fifth.
The caucus is comprised of the following members:
- The Sôgmô: Gaius Soergel Publicola
- The Party Secretary: Adam Camillus von Friedeck
- The Facilitator of the Council: Hatsu Ryuho
- Fourth Interrex: Sisenna Melville
- Fifth Interrex: Jan DeWitt
The caucus will meet for the first time in the New Gregorian Year.
Over the course of the next year, the Caucus of the Quinque Interreges, as they are officially known in this capacity: draw up the relevant criteria for someone to be a Sôgmô; brainstorm a long list of candidates; perform interviews and hold public meetings, if necessary, and reduce the list to about three to five candidates. The caucus then presents the list to the Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus in November, and the Party then selects two candidates to be put on the ballot of that Winter Solstice’s election.
The winner of the election becomes the new heir.
But the position of heir only lasts five years or at the Sôgmô’s pleasure, since það can choose to prorogue the heir’s five year term and can be sacked by the Sôgmô. At any moment the Sôgmô may meet þess demise, however, and the heir elected will automatically become the Sandum monarch for life or for as long as they reign legitimately. The idea is both to have a flexible political system where there can be contingencies while also allowing for the heir elected to train and to learn how to be a Sandum monarch appropriately.
Former heirs who have honourably resigned (that is, are not sacked) receive the title of “heir sine officio” for life and are entitled to a knighthood.
Sanôba will visit Quercus Candida for January 2019
Sanôba Oliver will visit the Sôgmô next month for several weeks before his university returns to session in February. He will live at the Appartements du Sôgmô in the capital for three weeks and will later return to live with the monarch for the summer. It will be the second time he will have visited Sandum land since becoming Sanôba in April, two days before the Day of Foundation. The Sôgmô recently visited Minnesota in the United States, where the Sanôba is from, to celebrate American Thanksgiving with him and his family.
The royal couple met online several years ago in 2010 through a mutual friend, who was at that time a Sandum citizen. Both kept in touch over the years and they first met in person in March of this year, when the Sanôba visited the Sôgmô in Quercus Candida. They began dating a month later, two days before the Day of Foundation, on 11 April.
New Fraternal Order, Honours, and Nobles to come in 2019
In the upcoming year, the Sôgmô has announced þess intention to found a new fraternal order, to establish new honours, and to create new nobles and knighthoods.
New Order: the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl
The Sôgmô has announced that they will create a new chivalric order dedicated to the purpose of philanthropy, charity, and almsgiving under the title of the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl (Ordre annonaire fraternel du Bol en bois). The order will be comprised of members of three ranks: Chevaliers, Chevaliers banneret, and Seigneurs. Each member, too, is entitled to a squire who will receive a ribbon. The order’s official business will be done in French, and members may communicate in any language they please so long as it is translated into the record in French.
The name of the order refers to the wooden bowls carried by Buddhist bhikkhus to receive alms. Companions of the order, as members will be called, must pay dues according to their rank so that the order can donate the money to a charitable foundation. (The amount will be determined by an arcane formula tied to the value of French francs in 1945.) The order will meet to collect money, make decisions, and donate the money to a specific charity on the Tibetan Buddhist holiday Chökhor Düchen, or the ‘Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma,’ which occurs on the fourth day of the sixth Tibetan lunar month. This will be 6 July in 2019, the first time the order will meet.
Table of Dues by Rank
|Rank||Francs due (1945 value)||Conversion (1₣ = 0.6714$)|
|Chevalier banneret||15||10.07$ USD|
Membership will be capped at fourteen, not including squires: two seigneurs, four chevaliers banneret, and eight chevaliers.
New Honours: Commendationes, Ovationes, and Party and Council Honours
The Sôgmô will award new, extemporaneous honours in the form of commendationes, Latin letters of recommendation. These letters patent will be awarded for extraordinary actions on the part of Sandum citizens and non-citizens alike to reward and acknowledge outstanding character and virtue.
Some commendations may be awarded with ovationes, meaning that they will be accompanied by a speech or a public statement. These commendations and ovations may be presented and given at public intermicronational events, such as next year’s 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada.
Other honours are possibly in the works for the Party and the Council. Already, the Council awards a laureate prize to important and significant artists and craftspeople, effectively making them national artists. But other honours may include a prize given by the Party Congress in recognition of outstanding achievement for the betterment of Socialism and Socialist and proletarian peoples. An award from the Council may recognise work done on behalf of the State of Sandus and may praise the work of particular citizens.
New Nobles: One Knighthood, Two Baronets, and One Baron next season
In the New Gregorian Year, there will be four new nobles in Sandus. One knighthood will be awarded to a non-Sandum citizen who has been a sound adviser to the Sôgmô on matters of constitutionalism and on thinking of new micronational alternatives. Two baronets will be awarded to the Sôgmô’s longstanding advisers and veritable friends—both of whom are Sandum citizens. And, finally, one barony will be awarded to the Sôgmô’s most trusty adviser and friend.
Adam Camillus von Friedeck will become Sandus’s first baron in the New Year, in recognition of his long and dedicated service to Sandus and to the Sôgmô. Although he will not receive an entitled and inholden barony, his personal grant of the rank of baron reflects his long tenure as Sandus’s second Grand State Officer, the Party Secretary. He already holds a baronetcy as Baronet Eliot and is a member of the gentry.
Hatsu Ryuho will become Sandus’s second baronet and will be known as Baronet Wexford. His entitled grant of a baronetcy reflects his service to the Social System as former premier of Kumano and his long-term service as Sandus’s third Grand State Officer, the Facilitator of the Council. This will be his first noble rank.
Oliver Armstrong will become Sandus’s third baronet. Although he will not receive an entitled grant of a baronetcy, his close proximity to the Sôgmô as the Sanôba and as the Sôgmô’s boyfriend are the grounds for such a high Sandum noble rank. He is already a member of the gentry.
Jan DeWitt will receive an offer for knighthood on account of his close and intimate discussions with the Sôgmô on Sandum constitutionalism. A scholar of Roman constitutionalism and political culture, DeWitt will be Sandus’s second non-citizen knight.