Provincia Britannia - Minutes - 2003 Bournemouth (Nova Roma)

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Minutes of the provincial meeting prid. Non. Oct. K. Fabio T. Labieno cos. MMDCCLVI a.u.c.

Taken by D. Iunius Silanus.


Welcome and introductions

Propraetor D. Iunius Silanus (DIS) welcomed everybody in the hotel bar where we all made each other's acquaintance.

Introduction by D. Iunius Silanus

DIS was pleased to see a good turn out and thanked Corn. Moravius Laureatus Armoricus (CMLA) for organizing the event while acknowledging both his and A. Apollonius Cordus’ (AAC) presence as Britannia’s legates.

DIS finally expressed his personal thanks to all for making the effort to attend.

New citizens recruitment: Action Plan

This point was the first real discussion of the meeting.

M. Duilius Fusconius (MDF) first suggested that citizens should try to get in touch with Pagan an Historical groups at a local level. The idea supported by all was to try to break with being only seen as an internet community. CMLA mentioned that NR had a readily available flyer (on the yahoo groups files) that he had already used and distributed to fellow students as a first step towards bringing NR in the public light. MDF took the idea further in suggesting that we could aim at specialized flyers (i.e. a different one for pagan organizations, schools, local historical groups etc..) each specifically designed at provincial level to present relevant NR’s goals and advantages.

Gaia Flavia Aureliana (GFA) stressed the importance of such a project as she mentioned her visit to the Middlewitch festival (reenactments, ancient crafts stands etc...) and said that NR, as an internet based organization, was not regarded as a serious one : “they’re all talk !” (sic). Local contacts and specific flyers seems to all to be one of the first projects we should undertake to achieve at least a minimum recognition.

Another idea based on the above was to also distribute such flyers in Roman sites and musaea around the country. This can be examined when such flyers are ready. CMLA also suggested that these flyers could advertise personal e-mail addresses next to the NR address in order for people to get personal attention and properly directed to relevant part of the site when contacting us. Perhaps the address of local legates could be used.

It was also agreed that local reenactment groups should be contacted. CMLA, however, mentioned that he already tried to contact the Legio Augusta Secunda in Portsmouth on behalf of NR; to this date they haven’t replied showing that we perhaps do not seem to attract enough interest at the moment.

Promoting the Romanitas: What we, citizens, can do

This point was closely linked to the above.

Most of us agreed that the current internet technology could allow us to use our website as a promoting and learning tool. One of the points raised was that we could start a data bank specific to Britannia where various resources could be listed (e.g. Roman sites listed by county with comments from people who have visited them, musaea…) or even propose some kind of virtual library guide completed with comment(s) and critics on the books that our citizens have read. Such a guide could be a useful tool in various ways to anyone starting to study roman history or other aspect of Roman life. It is also an achievable goal and would involve all of us in a federating common project.

The education issue was also raised and the idea of designing a school pack was mentioned so it could be distributed to local colleges or even universities. MDF said that he will be happy to study the proposal.

At this stage some of us were anxious to present NR as more than a pagan based organization only stressing religious aspects of Roman culture, which we all agree and know is not the case. In this day and age, however, caution must be paramount especially when approaching schools as we could be seen as a “sect” by people who do not take the time to be acquainted with us. It was therefore suggested that flyers / pack distributed in school / colleges should focus on academic subjects and matters such as everyday life (which would then involve an introduction to Roman rites and religion). As in point (3) the final design of these flyers / pack remains to be approved and discussion will surely take place in the process.

A final issue was discussed: It was felt around the table that a periodical and provincial news letter could be beneficial in bringing the citizens of Britannia together. We were aiming at producing a monthly one-page-paper to begin with, where articles, written by our citizens, on about everything could be published. Such newsletter both paper and web based would be free but only available to full citizens, as recorded by the census. This could be a first, tangible benefit of citizenship. CMLA volunteered to be the editor and will be advertising the idea on the provincial list in November 2003.

Discussion and voting on proposed draft for Provincial Flag and Provincial Motto

Proposals received in order of preference :

  • Renata Britannia 36.36 %
  • Cives Romani sumus 27.27 %
  • In omnia paratus 18.18 %
  • E cinibus meliores 18.18 %
  • Dic quod facies, fac quod dixisti 0 %

Discussion on the proposed motto was interesting and highlighted the different backgrounds and personalities of those present. In a word it was decided that “Renata Britannia” and “E cinibus meliores” were too much associated with the idea of previous “destruction” and “painful memories” and were perhaps not appropriate when the provincia is trying to federate people. “Cives Romani sumus” was perhaps a bit bland and obvious. As for “In omnia paratus” it is already the motto of the parachute regiment!

It was felt that the choice of a motto should be closely linked to that of a flag so it was decided that efforts should be concentrated on the design of a flag first. The basic design, everyone agreed, should recall the golden laurels on red background as with the NR flag. Within the laurels three propositions of drawings were offered and retained for further study: Draco (although it has welsh and medieval connotations), Griffin (but there again medieval Britain is brought to mind) and finally a representation of the Bear (an animal recorded as living in Britain in Roman times and giving to the province a special place in the roman psyche). AAC suggested that a representation of the stellar constellation Ursa Maior could be an option. The idea was welcomed by all and we are now all looking forward to the graphic representation of the flag on this model. Gaia Fabia Livia (GFL) has offered to help AAC on this matter.

Provincial projects for 2004

  • Can we improve the structure of Provincial government?
It is a work in progress and should be discussed at each meeting until such time that circumstances are right for a reorganization to be viable and relevant to the size of the provincia.
  • Organizing meetings for 2004.
DIS is looking into holding 2 annual meetings from now on. We are obviously looking for volunteers to take charge of the organizing. It was suggested that an anniversary celebration, that of the birth of the provincia, could be an appropriate first step.
  • European Gathering at Tongeren.
We will be looking at more details as and when they are available on the lists. Perhaps British citizens could cut the transport costs by sharing vehicles? More details to come...
  • Ideas to enhance our Provincial Web Site.
See all above points that can be used to make our website a more lively and welcoming place. GFL also offered her help in maintaining the web site as she possesses the required skills.

Matters arising

Everybody was happy with the way the discussion went. We are now all looking forward to put all this projects into practice. Of course we all recognize the pressure of real life and do not anticipate a heavy timetable for the above to happen. Our propraetor, however, will be publishing deadlines after these minutes have been released and read by the citizens who could not attend. Hopefully we will see some tangible improvements in the way the provincia behaves and conducts business by the beginning of next year.

A last word of congratulation extended to Aureliana for winning the Ludi Romani cultural award. Well done and long live the provincia through its citizens !

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