Gerhard Kendal of Westmoreland
Baron Sir Master Gerhard Kendal of Westmoreland
Lion of An Tir, KSCA, OL, GdS, JdL, GGS, HL, GoA, Founding Baron of Lions Gate, Baron of the Western Court, AoA, Augmentation of Arms, LoM, OSS, MTM, MdO, MI, LI, Havok, RF
November 12, 1936 - December 16, 2003, Anno Societatis XXXVIII
Husband of Amanda Kendal of Westmoreland, father of Melissa Kendal of Westmoreland and Andre Lessard.
I made this up after Baron Gerhard passed away. It is a collection of all the emails from the Steps praising the memory of His Excellency.
--Lord Dougal MacLaomuinn, Lionsdale 13:29, 17 Nov 2005 (EST)
In contribution to his memory I've included the portrait I drew of him. The original was given to HE Amanda Kendal
--HL Dona Lasairiona ineagh Uillam na Seoltadh, Lionsgate
(The last public message from Gerhard to the populace of An Tir.)
"The time has come" the Walrus said, "to talk of many things"
Tonight, 'tis time to talk of passing.
This is time when one realizes that one isn't immortal after all; life must eventually end for every one of us, and I have definitely accepted that fact. One is born, lives and eventually dies. That is the reality of life. Of course, I would have preferred the living part to have been longer. There are so many books to read, things to learn, Ithra classes to teach, time to spend with Amanda; and on it goes.
The word from my oncologist is: one month, maybe two, perhaps some time after that, but we shall see. The chemo treatments are over. I'm going to be at home as much as I can. And right now, that's pretty easy. I breathe funny (panting going up stairs) and my appetite is a bit weird, but all in all, life continues much as it always has.
The Society and you, its people have been a big part of my life for more than 25 years, and I've enjoyed pretty much every moment of it.
The Society has taught me much, and influenced me much; it's been a great ride. I got to do things that many people just dream about (Look! There's a shield wall! I'll charge into it! Great fun.)
When I first began, it was the physical things: the calligraphy and illumination, the dancing, the costumes, the fighting, the archery and so forth.
Then it became the people. The many friendships which I've been able to be part of over the years have been wonderful. At the same time, the opportunity to pass along the knowledge of things I've learned has been great. Even the war stories (no s*&% there I was.)
Then came the educational aspects of the Society, one of the most wonderful things about it. Ithra taught me how to teach, and it's been something I've loved doing. Just wish I could do more.
For me, that will soon end. Don't let it end with you. The more you learn, the better for all.
And with that, I have a few instructions.
Cards are okay.
Please, no visitors. We've got a lot to do between now and then.
Please, no presents or fuzzy stuffed animals.
Flowers die, and can be depressing.
Fuzzies: hey, we've got Cat. That's enough.
Now, as to getting rid of 'stuff'; start saving your pennies. We're going to have a mundane garage sale this Saturday.
We're going to have an SCA only garage sale this Sunday. Times will be announced later.
We'll be at Baroness's with lots of stuff. Bring money.
See y'all then.
For Gerhard Kendal of Westmoreland
---Frederick of Holland, November xxxviii (2003)
You tell us that you face the final foe
And know that this time you will lose that fight.
Oh, how can you advance with heart so light,
To leave us now, the comrades you did know?
We all must face him, be it fast or slow,
Who waits for us, far darker than the night,
Who sunders friends, with tears makes dim our sight,
But you, who face him now, no sorrow show.
I wish I could not hear, nor speak these words.
I must do both before your time is past:
"I never thought our games would reach an end.
There should be time for one more dance of swords."
Now I would beg a gift I can hold fast,
Give me one last embrace -- as friend to friend.
Let it be known throughout the Known World, that on this day, Gerhard Kendal of Westmoreland,
Knight of the Society for Creative Anachronism,
Master of the Order of the Laurel,
Baron of the Court of the West,
Holder of the Grey Goose Shaft,
Holder of the Hasta Leonis,
Holder of the Goutte de Sang,
Holder of the Jambe de Lion,
Holder of the Order of Havok of Tir Righ,
Holder of the Red Flame of Tir Righ,
Holder of a Grant of Arms of the Kingdom of the West,
Holder of an Award of Arms,
Holder of a University of Ithra Lector Artis Degree,
Holder of a University of Ithra Lector Scientaie Degree,
Holder of numerous Ithra Magistraes,
Holder of the Lions Claw,
whose Arms have been Augmented by command of Their past Majesties of An Tir
and most importantly, beloved husband, father, grandfather, teacher, student and friend,
has journeyed to the realm of stars to join Her Serene Highness, Dowager Princess Janeltis and the other absent friends of An Tir and the Known World to watch over us.
Please, gentle lords and ladies, remember his words, "Life is too short". Choose something you are passionate about and do some each and every day. As well, never lose the opportunity to tell your loved ones that they are loved and cherished. And never stop learning.
With love, joy and sadness,
Amanda, Melissa, Andre
Greetings dear friends,
The time came this morning.
Gerhard loved receiving all your letters, cards, phone calls and emails. He was amazed and felt loved and appreciated by the knowledge of how you all regarded him and how he had affected your lives in some way. He wanted to respond to each of you personally, but there was not enough time to do all he wished.
Gerhard had a wonderful time at the Tir Righ Investiture, the St Giles Ithra Session, and most especially, at the Lions Gate Baroness' Tourney. He got to talk to many people at those events and his spirits were way up.
He had a lot of energy during the final weeks because all of you gave it to him through your correspondence and phone calls and personal interaction. He was one of the last people to leave the Baroness's Tourney site on Sunday morning.
His brother had flown out from Ottawa and spent a week with him.
He spent last Friday with Melissa / Heather taping his memories of his childhood, his family life, his military life, his rally / race life and his SCA life.
He spent last Saturday teaching Andre / Adolphus / Derek / Dee about RBG's (Rubber Band Guns).
He spent most of a day with his granddaughter - Anna.
He spent a lot of time with his grandson - Izaac.
He spent some time with his daughter-in-law - Oktabia / Sheri.
The last two days (Sunday and Monday) were difficult for him. He had a lot of trouble breathing. It was time for him to go.
He is on his way to discuss War Tactics with Robbin, Liam, Michael and Evan.
We all know that as long as he is in our memories, he will live on.
The ripples that he has created through his teaching, whether formal or informal, will spread far and wide.
The lives he has affected in some way, will never be the same.
He was a man who lived by his principles.
He never stopped learning, he never stopped teaching.
We helped make each other what we were - stronger than the sum of its parts. Our life together was as one.
Dear Amanda and Family:
We will miss him. Our hearts go out to you and yours.
Sir Geoffrey de Rennes
Mistress Rowenna de Roncesvalles
May our great grandchildren's great-grandchildren be able to tell of the exploits of this great and kind man to their great grand children!
May his life ever be celebrated! May his memory ever be cherished!
And wherever and whenever warriors of the SCA meet in wars be they heavy, light, rapier or any other class of fighter yet to be devised drink a toast to his memory!
Alastair the Eastern Traveller
Dearest Baroness Amanda
A huge hole has appeared in the real Chivalry on earth. Our sympathies are with you and your family today. Be sure that your extended SCA family mourns with you.
Ingvar the Restless
Good journey, dear friend.
All hail the warrior Hart. May the wind forever fill your sails.
In sorrow, I think there will never, ever be anyone to equal Gerhard Kendal (unless it is his dear Love, Amanda).
In comfort, I can truly say that for each of us that watched him go, that there are that many more that watched him arrive with joy and anticipation.
He's not gone from us; I can see him clearly in my mind, standing there, saying "Hi, Roger, you're just the man I wanted to see; I want to challenge you to a duel."
And we did, with his rubber band guns. Monk shoots Knight. I wanted to run it in the Crier.
Sir Gerhard Gone? Not likely. He will be influencing the way the SCA is run for the next 100 years, at least here in An Tir.
How can someone be gone if he's loved so much?
But if he's not gone, why am I so sad?
A great inspiration to the Society has been lost. While his spirit lives on in the hearts of all of us graced with a kind word from him be sure, Lady, that all of Lions Gate grieves with you.
"Whatever you do, have Fun Doing It"
A solitary horn blew in the west Today.
Hidden in the mist on the mountain tops, as I walked in the valley below.
The first time it cut the air, I paused abruptly, quite aware,
That the Mist had wrapped me in its blanket,
So thickly so, I could not scan it.
Suddenly I was not alone, I could hear Men whisper in a reverent tone:
"May his head be always crowned with gold,
Steps unhindered, do boldly go.
To the land beyond his earthly reign.
Hark, the horn calls his noble name."
The call comes lonely four time all,
In silence I stood listening,
While it echoed off to some hallowed hall.
The words I relate, in case you debate,
Whether or not you might have heard or seen something strange as of late:
"A life that did not live in vain, remembered with
Love on this earthly plane. Walk thee now to your
Rest, as you lived your life at your best."
I hope you folks like this. I came up with it as soon as I heard the news.
- Big Hugs*
Where to start? I met Gerhard at my First event. [[Clinton War XXIX/1994|Clinton 1994]]. This wild-man was doing an auction. Any of you who have experienced a Gerhard auction know exactly what I am talking about.
Grew with the SCA. Went to many events in the local area, never venturing out of the Lower Mainland much. [[University of Ithra|Ithras]], Baroness' Birthday (now Tourney), Sea Lion Wars, [[Clinton War|Clinton]], assorted Lions Gate events, assorted Lionsdale events, a couple of Crown events.
Everywhere I went, there was this awesome couple. Amanda is the one that everyone loves for her loveliness, but Gerhard is the one that everyone loved for his exuberance. Everything that he did, he did it because it was fun for him.
Skip ahead a few years (1999). I started realizing that some of my medieval interests were very similar to the Baron's, and that I was very comfortable in calling him a friend. That summer, I asked him if I could become his Apprentice. He did me a great honour in answering a very exuberant (no surprise there), "YES."
I feel very honoured to have been included in his life, and to have known that he felt honoured to have been part of mine, and know that I am just one of a great MANY who he has touched.
Baron Gerhard, WE LOVE YOU. Have fun.
Dougal MacLaomuinn, Apprentice to Baron Gerhard Kendal of Westmoreland
Today did a good and gentle soul go home.
Our cousin has joined with the others of our kin who have ‘gone on before’ on the path that we all will one day travel.
I grieve for our loss of his guidance and company and I rejoice that he began his journey with the sure and certain knowledge that he was well loved, that his life, in deed, in word and in influence, had been of great service and of great value to our society as well as to his family and mundane friends.
It is given to few men that they will know before their death these things so I must conclude that the powers that be so ordained this boon in reward for the life he led and the people who were enriched by that life.
Be well again, my friend. May you travel swiftly to your rewards and may there be the joy you desire in your new existence.
Any tears I shed will be for our loss not for this brave man.
Amanda, be there any service that I can offer now or in the future please call.
as a member of Amanda’s cavalry, I feel it is my duty to ride this day. i have no idea where I’m going, and no idea when I will return.
I’m in Glym Mere, and I'm leaving at 4, anyone with a steed is welcome to join me.
Godspeed my friend Gerhard, Godspeed.
The cavalry of your lady rode today in your honour, and tonight we party
to celebrate the next step in your journey...
Lord Sylverstone the Traveller
Cavalry Rider, in service to Lioness Amanda Kendal of Westmoreland
Seneschal at large / Seneschal for life, County Duvall
Man at arms to Master Baron Julian Farnsworth of Falconmoors
Protege to Companion Aaron of The Black Mountains
Member of the Order of the Iron Chain
Ride like the wind, good friend. Be there for her.
Nay good gentle, not lost. Gone from our sight but never lost. Never far from our hearts or thoughts. When it is spoken " I remember when..." there will be our inspiration, all of them, back again to make bright once more the light they shared with us all.
Good Mistress Amanda may there be comfort and peace for you and all of us who were touched by Gerhard's light.
Adrienne Barclay of Dunottar
Gerhard was...and is....the SCA, he stood for what was good and honourable.
If it's not fun, why do it. Methinks there will always be stories forever more of his deeds...he is entwined firmly in our hearts. I am truly honoured to have met him. To his family, my thoughts and good wishes are with you.
Sylverstone. I will ride with you in spirit as I live to far too join you....Take care.
HL Cerridwen Maelwedd
Dear Gentles, May I add the voice of myself and my household in expressing sorrow at the passing of our beloved Gerhard.
Aaron has said it so much better than I ever could.
Amanda, take heart, Your devoted companion, friend, husband, father, will live on as long as there are those who remember Gerhard with love and affection.
Katja Bjornswiffe & Bjorn Kjeldson
What can I say that has not been already said?
I came home this eve to a farspeaker message that said "Call. I know you will want to talk." I called, my friend was out (it was time she often goes to meet her lord). I rushed to the computer, I had not yet this day checked my mail.
The tears I am shedding even now are for us. He is now free of pain. I am happy that until very close to the end his last days were good and spent with his family. I am happy so many of us had the opportunity to say good-bye at the recent events he attended. I am so very glad I had the chance to talk to him at Baroness.
We are all the better for having known him. I am sorry for those not yet of us who will not have that honour.
Look to the sky. There is a new star tonight.
Isobel fitz Gilbert
May I suggest a toast based on Gerhard's words:
To Gerhard: "Life is too short."
Reply: "Let's make it special."
It is the tradition of my people that when someone passes, the ritual prayer of mourning is one praising the almighty, that in doing so, you are proving the worth and value of the departed by showing how the living are willing to give praise to the almighty on behalf of the one who can no longer do so. Essentially saying, "this person is so honourable and righteous, He can give praise to above, even after death!"
As I am far from Lions Gate and the Barony I once served by oath and blood, I cannot form a minyan, a quorum, of fellow Lions Gaters, of brother and sister Sergeants, of people who knew Gerhard in order to offer prayer on behalf of the departed.
My customs say that for a close relative I am obligated to say the mourner's kaddish on his behalf, that he might enjoy the wonders, splendour, peace and joy of whatever afterlife awaits him. He was a brother in the Sergeantry, a "father figure" in the very best sense of the cliché, and so I ask then, that you join me and give praise to whatever or whomever you believe in, and do so on behalf of Gerhard, as the greatest legacy of this great man is that his unquenchable spirit lives eternally in all those whose lives he has touched with his humour, kindness, and mirth.
I include here my mourner's prayer, to the almighty on Gerhard's behalf. For those not religious I offer no offence, so please take none. I also use a single gender, as is the custom of my people. Again, no offence is meant. I am using the English translation so as not to hide the meaning.
May his great name grow exalted and sanctified, amen.
Yitkadal v'yitkadash shmei rabah, amen
In the world he created as he willed.
V'alma devrah chirutai
May he give reign to his kingship in your lifetimes and in your days,
v'yamlich malchutai, b'chaiyachon oov yomaichon
and in the lifetimes of the entire nation.
Oov chaiyai d'chol bait yisrasel,
Swiftly and soon, amen.
B'agalah, oovizman chariv, v'imru, amen
May His great name be blessed forever and ever.
Y'hay shmei rabah m'vorach, l'alam ul'almai almayah, yitbarach
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,
Yitbarah, v'yishtabah, v'yitpoar, v'yitromam, v'yitnasay
mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, Blessed is He,
v'yithadar, v'yithalay, v'yithalal, shmei dekudesha, brich
who beyond any blessing and song,
L'aylah min kol birchatah v'shiratah
praise and consolation that are uttered in this world. Amen.
Tushbichatah v'nechematah, damiran b'almah, v'imru amen.
May there be abundant peace from above,
Y'hay shlamah rabah min shemaiyah,
and life upon us and all the Nation. Amen.
v'Chaim aleinu v'all kol yisrael, v'imru amen.
He who makes peace in his heights,
Oseh shalom bimromav, who y'aseh shalom
may he make peace upon us and all the nation. Amen.
aleinu v'al kol ysrael, v'imru amen.
I am saddened this day, no more so than others, but sad nevertheless. May Amanda's grief be eased, Her memories joyous, and her house filled with love.
In service, in grief,
Mattittiyahu Haim ben Sholom ben Avraham Avinu
aka Mattittiyahu von Mod'in
At times like this I think it appropriate to put aside the nitpickery between the multitude of religions and let our voices ring together. I will stand by you and raise my voice with yours in prayer.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam
I stand at your side for this minyan and add my voice to yours. For no prayer for the departed is wrong in any sense of the word. all prayer is of value and is appreciated.
Amen my friend, amen, and my thanks to you for this.
Aaron of the Black Mountains,
Order of hospitaliers of St. John of Jerusalem, Monk, Chirurgeon, defender of faith in all it's aspects.
There is no question that Gerhard will be missed. But, in the spirit of the way he lived his life, I would like to suggest that we celebrate his life, instead of shedding only tears at his passing. Let's think of ways to carry on his good deeds, both every day in the SCA, and find other ways to celebrate him at this time.
Perhaps we can continue the story theme by sharing stories about Gerhard, to remember him in life? And these stories can be saved, notated and passed on and on.
Paula K. Wirth
In that thought let us raise a glass in toast ...
To a most extraordinary man, a most extraordinary example and a most extraordinary life...
May he live on forever in our hearts, our dreams and our stories.
Baroness Anne Dame Isabeau
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
This was once said in regards to the fallen of the Great War, by his Lord Bishop. But I feel it applies here and now.
Being new to the SCA, I only got to know Gerhard and Amanda just this past year, but even for just that short time, I am truly grateful. For Gerhard's life was not only about his family, but also his friends, as far and wide that they did spread.
Gerhard's friends were the SCA, and he lived for his friends ... and he died for them.
Peace be with you Amanda and your family during this time.
Captain Molly Modine of the Hounslow Heath Cooperative
Since Gerhard loved Clinton, perhaps we could dedicate the next Clinton War to Gerhard in celebration of his life...it it's acceptable to his family.
My condolences Amanda. He was a good man and will be missed.
Viscount Sir Jerald of Galloway
the blonde man in the back of the grotto, sitting on one of the fastest (and by far the loyalest) steeds in antir, watches the people come in, in ones, in pairs, in groups, and smiles, for this is going to be a party like he has never thrown before...
raising his horn, the man listens, as the good lady speaks...
with a glance to the heavens, the man drinks...
Lord Sylverstone the Traveller
With heavy heart I read you news, and yet I knew this day would come.
T'was hoped it would be forestalled, and time would gently pass him by, and let the season bring joy to him and his.
May we all this day remember what a great man once graced our land. May we all recall with smiles unbound what a joyful laugh and easy smile graced that gentles fair face.
And may we stand in awe of his determination and strength of soul that he did fight this demon off for low these many years, and until there was to great a foe allied against him, did keep them ever at bay. He was a model to us all that face this demon Cancer, and a model to us all that face any foe so powerful and unrelenting. Gerhard was and is the person I would most like to be like, and I wish for many more years of striving for that unattainable star.
My peace and prayers to him and his, my best wishes comfort and joy in shared remembrance.
Huma'i al'Rashid al'Baghdadiyya, cancer patient.
A man I loved died today.
I had thought of many things to say, of what he meant to me, how he had changed my life, and it came down to that ...
A man I loved died today...
It seems I delayed too long in sending my letter. I wanted to write something to both Gerhard and Amanda to share together, to place in a scrapbook and to let both know how much I appreciate them both. I send this to the Known World, albeit too late for Gerhard to read (although perhaps he's reading over Amanda's shoulder at the computer), I want to express my thoughts.
Dear Sir Gerhard and Mistress Amanda,
It was suggested recently that all those who want to write words to you should address them to both you and Amanda, so you can share them together, you can put them into a scrapbook and keep them to be read later. I agree.
Not only will she probably read them anyway - as good husbands and wives usually have no secrets-but it seems that ‘GerhardAndAmanda’ has long been a single word; inseparable through the many years. When people thought of the Baronial seats in Lions Gate for those 20-odd years (and maybe there is emphasis on "odd") J they thought of ‘GerhardAndAmanda’. When they think of great teachers for Ithra, they think ‘GerhardAndAmanda’. When they think of icons of the SCA, long-time members, holders of nearly every award they have invented (and deservedly so), they think ‘GerhardAndAmanda’. And long after you're both gone, you will still be thought of with warmth, with fondness, and with great admiration and respect.
Gerhard: you are a man of many accomplishments.
When I think of an instructor for Ithra, I can't think of anyone with as many red beads around his neck than you, Gerhard. I've taken more than a dozen classes from you and enjoyed them all immensely. Even subjects that I didn't think I'd like were downright enjoyable due to your instruction.
Your Chivalry & Etiquette class with Amanda was always a popular choice, among newbies and old-timers alike.
When I think of going to court and there is a delay waiting for someone to arrive at Their Majesties' kneeling pillow, I think of you and your "Bunny and Duck" story. Your inventiveness and demeanour are so entertaining! Any time there's a lull in the Lions Gate court, I anticipate the Gerhard Intermission (or Stefano, who also adequately fills the time!).
When I think of fight practices in Lions Gate that I used to go to (many, many, many moons ago), I remember seeing you in the parking lot of the school, stick and shield in hands, doing slow-work with the newbies. You are fantastic as an instructor and never seem to tire of working with entry-level SCAers. I must agree, it's always fun to teach enthusiastic students!
When I think of dancing, I remember you teaching at Ithras or at events without music, singing "dum, da-da-da dum, dum-de-dum." as you went through the steps. In fact, every time I hear, "Oh What a Night" on the oldies radio station, I think of Galliards and how you thought they were so silly (that song has a Galliard beat). I don't know if you still think they're silly, but it was a laugh seeing you dance a Galliard!
When I think of Calligraphy, I think of the first class I took at an Ithra in Shittimwoode--in the cold barns at Sudden Valley--where you taught Beginning Calligraphy. This was my first Ithra and I was HOOKED after that.
When I see guns in the SCA, I'll always be reminded of your collection of rubber band reproductions. The research behind them is admirable, but the craftsmanship is truly a remarkable thing. I think that can be said for all your artistic endeavours from pewter casting to illumination.
And when I think of castles, I am always reminded of the Castles and Fortifications class I took from you. In particular, I remember the privies on the top floors, jutting out from the castle wall, and how you had written an article that was pasted to the inside doors of Clinton's pit toilets back in the early 90s (1993?). I'm sorry to say that it was either too dark or I was in too much of a hurry to get away from the stench to read the article in its entirety. I hope that I can obtain a copy of it sometime.
I have a small collection of pewter cast medallions from wars, events, and Christmas presents over the years. As a person from outside Lions Gate, I always really appreciated receiving these gifts from you. They meant a lot to me. It made me feel as though I was a part of your circle of friends, not just someone you knew from Shittimwoode.
Amanda is a very lucky lady to have had you all these years; you are a gentleman, a true Knight, a man of many trades and skilled at them all. I also consider myself very lucky to have had the pleasure of knowing you and calling you friend-your presence has touched me very deeply and I will love you until the world ends. My life is greater for having known you.
Yours, with much fondness and awe,
Helene de Navarre
Dear Amanda, My thoughts are with you and your children at this time. I am so very proud of you and what you did for and gave to Gerhard throughout his life and in his last days. You made his inevitable journey bearable by your support for him, by your love and by being there when he needed you.
I hope that you and your children hold on to each other tight, and know that we are all holding you in our hearts at this time.
We loved Gerhard, and we love you.
Magdalen of Frozen Mountain
I think Gerhard would like the humour of this...
I know he had a smile on during a bardic I sang this at...
"In Dead Earnest (Lee's Compost Song)," words by Lee Hays (1979),
If I should die before I wake,
All my bone and sinew take
Put me in the compost pile
To decompose me for a while
Worms, water, sun, will have their way,
Returning me to common clay
All that I am will feed the trees
And little fishies in the seas.
When radishes and corn you munch,
You may be having me for lunch
And then excrete me with a grin,
Chortling, "There goes Lee again."
Twill be my happiest destiny
To die and live eternally.
Aye, I knew the man and better yet so will others in how I greet and make welcome new people, maintain chivalry both on and off the field, stop to help when able, continue to learn and improve myself, pass the knowledge on to others, in how I smile always to enjoy more and in how I will play the game as he did, will he continue on for me.
Azure said it well in that the best of him is still here: Amanda
Our grief is with you, though none can compare
Our memories are fond, though yours are better
Our help and assistance are yours for the asking, and in this there is no better!!!!!
Bernadette Ebhili'n A'rd
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