Friday, February 10, 2017
The Second Life Coast Guard Museum Opening Ceremony
By Bixyl Shuftan
Several seats reserved for honored guests, "Sir, Ma'am, ADML Laxness requests your presence in the red seats. You are two of our honored guests today. Please, follow me." Some of the people hadn't seen one another in a while, and friendly greetings were exchanged. Ken Whitfield (Keneth80 Whitfield), one of the command staff, told the crowd, "Good afternoon everyone. We still have a lot of people arriving so we ask your indulgence as we hold the house for a few more minutes. Also, if those of you in the back in Moonberry would like to move forward that would be great. Thank you for you all for being here and we should begin our program shortly."
Allian Blackwell (Allian Resident) started the ceremony, stepping up to the podium and speaking, "Good day, honored guests, guardians and the SL Community. I would like to thank you on behalf of all SL Coast Guard for joining us today on a very momentous time in our history. We are so happy to share our history in our museum with you and the whole SL Community. Welcome to the grand opening of the SL Coast Guard Museum Opening today. I am Vice Admiral Allian Blackwell, Vice Commandant of the SL Coast Guard. I am honored to speak with you today on behalf of a group that I love. The museum has been a venture over a year in the making. The hard work of our group in gathering historical information and their talents in bringing it to all of us. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to them for their creative efforts and dedicated work in making this museum possible."
The Vice Admiral concluded, "I would like to first introduce to you today our founder, our leader and our Commandant, Sanstrom Laxness. I will now turn this over to Admiral Laxness. Sir, the deck is yours." She got off the podium, and the Commandant took his place, "Thank you Admiral Blackwell. Good Afternoon. To our honored guest, ElBag Gable, Mark Twain White, Members of the press, Alliance Members, Guardians and Family members. I thank you all very much for being here today on the wonderful occasion. I wonder if you and those assembled here can understand just exactly the mixed emotions that I'm feeling right now, having founded this group back in 2005, It seems a long time ago. But it is wonderful to be here today for the men and women of the SL Coast Guard, one of Second Life’s oldest groups. Throughout its long and remarkable history, the SL Coast Guard has adapted itself to many critically important missions. But throughout it’s entire history, the SL Coast Guard has maintained one great mission, the core mission of the group: safe boating education.
"I hope all of you here know the tremendous difference the efforts and contributions of our donors are making not only in the group but throughout SL. Without their efforts, these stations, this HQ building and this museum would be only be a memory or at least much smaller part of our group. I'm pleased to be able to say that our group and it’s many capabilities will continue to be further enhanced by the dedication of not only our members but our donors as well, and it's due in no small part to your dedication and sacrifice that this group will continue to thrive.
RJ Kikuchiyo stepped up to the podium, "Thank you Vice Admiral Blackwell. And thank you members of the SLCG and supporters, friends and family. I can only underscore what Admiral Laxness has said, and relate to you, at the risk of sounding a bit senile, a personal anecdote. In a nearly mythologic age, the SLCG was a small but dedicated group, dedicating our time here to the mission. I and a handful of volunteers made it our duty to perform basic safe boating public advisory and sim litter patrol (chuckle). In this time we met a crisis and an opportunity when many of our founding members were leaving SL, for personal reasons, I was given the opportunity to hold the role of group owner, and keeper of the light, so to speak.
"When that responsibility came, I was ready. I was willing. I was duty-bound. Every day, we as SLCG are given the responsibility to represent the group. It is an honor that I share but I also protect. I feel like we can greet every day as an opportunity to do a great service to this place and for each other. And I know that this will continue in the hands of members like you.
"Thank you for letting me ramble. I will happily take a seat and enjoy today's events." RJ stepped down as the audience applauded, "Bravo, well said." Allian came back up to introduce the next speaker, "The creation of the museum and its curator is our own Lieutenant Commander Pier Cukor, excuse me, Commander Cukor, my bad. He took on this task and has been tirelessly working on the museum for over a year now. I would like to invite CDR Cukor up to speak to you. CDR Cukor the deck is yours."
PierG stepped down to much applause by the aidence, and Allian came up briefly for the next introduction, "As we look to the future of SL Coast Guard. We wanted someone to speak today that is part of the SL Coast Guard to have them say a few words about the SL Coast Guard. I would like to introduce to you Chief Petty Officer Cullen Debruyere who is stationed at Station Terranova." The Vice Admiral looked to the petty officer, "Chief Debruyere, the deck is yours."
The chief went up to the podium, "Thank you, Vice Admiral Blackwell. Distinguished guests and friends, Admirals, Officers, fellow enlisted Guardians, At the request of the Vice-Commandant, Vice-Admiral Blackwell, I have the honor to address a few words to this assembly on behalf of the newer members of the Second Life Coast Guard. Changes, transformations and other vicissitudes are an intrinsic part of life, and we as no others are aware of the truth in the saying that ‘Time and tide wait for no man.’ After twelve years on the waters, the Second Life Coast Guard has had to adapt to many changes, some of these transitions have been smooth and relatively painless, others have not. When confronted with visions of a different future than our own we may, to a certain extent, be taken aback and sometimes reluctant to accept the merits in proposals, more often than not we concentrate on the short-term inconveniences that the implementation of new policies may engender. Mentally and emotionally, Newton’s first law of motion applies to both the instigator of change as to those of a mind to oppose it. We should seize upon this opportunity to reflect on the steps we have taken, the many decisions that have led to us being here, today, in our present-day capacity and to not restrain ourselves from judging their individual worth. The same applies to this group, the Coast Guard, whence it came and where it is headed.
"We have all joined this distinguished group for personal motives; Our hopes, ambitions and values are as diverse as our name tags but we are unified in our love of the sea, sailing, flying, diving, camaraderie and team-work, in a word; Life itself, and the preservation thereof. Occasionally, the application of virtually acquired safe boating-reflexes has yielded positive results in the physical world by reducing the risk of accidents. In such cases where carelessness led to an incident regardless, the consequences were then strongly attenuated. Make no mistake; the right word at the right moment may save a life some day. For many years, this is what the Second Life Coast Guard has stood for in this world-wide virtual reality. As we proudly carry on this tradition, we assure that it will continue to do so.
"Many of us dedicate a substantial portion of our time to this work, voluntarily, sometimes unnoticed but always indispensable. Sincere compliments to each of us, from Seaman to Admiral, who contribute to the perpetuation of this wonderful group of individuals and essentially keep it running every day. Bear in mind that all hands are needed. This museum, full of memories to many and dedicated to both the real life- and virtual Guardians should serve as a reminder that our cause is one rooted in the distant past, has spread into the virtual reality since and that it will remain relevant, until long after we have secured from our Watch. Remember our shipmates, gone but not forgotten and know that they stand with us through the long nights and discomforting elements. You will never stand alone. In showing our predecessors proper respect, we shall merit the same. So let us regard this place as the vault in which we store our traditions, not merely a few inanimate objects, for us to visit solemnly when our resolve starts to waver or we find our perseverance to be lacking.
"In conclusion, I leave you with the words often attributed to Gustav Mahler, who said; 'Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.' Let us endeavor to keep our own flame burning bright. Thank you. Fair winds and following seas to you all. Semper Paratus!"
There was much applause in response. "Thank you so much! My time in the SLCG was extremely rewarding." Sanstrom told her, "Kari, your very special to me and always have been. I can never thank you enough for your service." " Admiral Laxness, it was an honor to serve with you." she answered. The Admiral then spoke, "All I ask is but one favor of you please. No more throwing of horseshoes," referring to her equine appearance. There were a few chuckles and remarks of "Oh dear." Kari laughed, "Oh come on... you all had insurance for that." She stepped down, where she was hugged by her partner Kragon Vlodovic.
Allian continued, "For me, Vice Admiral was a mentor whose shoes were very hard to fill, but she taught me well." Kari mused, "Yeah you have those funny feet." Allian went on, "My deepest gratitude to her. One of the many things that SL Coast Guard has to be thankful for is those that support us by donating their land and support to us in furnishing their land and resources to us. Without them the SL Coast Guard would not be what it is today. We are very appreciative of their continued support in our mission. I know that many of your supporters are not with us today. One supporter of us is a very small one. Would Kininidy West to the deck please."
Allian got back to the podium and went on, "Thank you Kinnidy Now onto the more larger supporters. Would the following SL Coast Guard supporters please stand as I call your name: Elbag Gable, Brenda Hoisin, Mark Twain White, Nber Medici, Patrick Leavitt, Delight Leavitt, Luke Flywalker, Donatella Mitchell, Max Boost, Debi Dastardly, Ey Ren, Jane Fossett, Veritas Ranamaker, Luckie Howlett, Whimsycallie Peglar, Micky Lancaster, Michel Rosenstrauch, Gail Lorraine, Charlie1700, Tank Kwaszes, Aaron Lamont, Adri Lamont.
"Please give these supporters a very big round of applause for their continued support of not only their resources but for their support in the SL Coast Guard mission for without them much of this is not even possible. We have made a gift of appreciation for each one to commenorate this occasion and our continued appreciation for their wonderful support and generosity." The crowd broke into applause, "Thank you all for everything you do in supporting our mission and our group.in the SL Coast Guard."
When the applause died down, Alliantold the crowd, "Please remain standing and would all of you please stand with them as the SL Coast Guard Honor Guard has our 21 gun salute before the cutting of the ribbon for the SLCG Museum Opening. Officer in Charge CDR Mitchell of the SLCG Honor Guard and the SLCG Honor Guard is upstage to the left." The honor guard stood at attention. Donatella Mitchell then ordered the ones armed with rifles, "Attention! Order arms! Right face! Ready! Aim! Fire!" The squad fired. They would do this two more times, then Donatella ordered, "Order Arms! Left face! Present Arms! Parade Rest!"
Those who could headed inside the museum. But as there was a limited capacity, some couldn't get in. This included yours truly, so I took a couple pictures from a distance, then headed off to another event going on, Bay City's Mole Day event. Those wanting to check out the museum and it's exhibits can head over to the Guardian Building at Qlar Fell (181, 190, 25).