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“a brief review of what had passed” [THOR]  

Photo credit: Will Walsh  

As chronicled in the latest episode of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, the 2024 BSI Weekend happened in New York City from Wednesday, January 9 – Sunday, January 14, 2024.

It was the BSI's largest dinner to date, and some 300+ Sherlockians descended on Midtown Manhattan to celebrate the 170th birthday of Sherlock Holmes and the 90th anniversary of the Baker Street Irregulars.

For the purposes of this update, we're focused on the accolades from the weekend, which happened over a series of events.

On Thursday, January 10, the ACD Society held its annual meeting at the Mysterious Bookshop, which once again included the running of the Wessex Cup, with 16 entered horses, all designed by Peggy McFarlane, BSI ("Violet Westbury").

Doylean Honors

The ACD Society also had a more august role, which was the conferring of its annual Doylean Honors.

For Lifetime Service:

For excellence in the "Fiction and Poetry" category:

For excellence in the "Visual Arts" category:

For excellence in the "Scholarly Writing" category:

To watch the entire ceremony (about 45 minutes long), visit Doings of Doyle.

Susan Rice Mentorship Award

On Friday at the Gillette Luncheon, the assembled diners bore witness to the latest recipient of the Susan Rice Mentorship Award.

The Susan Rice Mentorship Award was established in 2022 to recognize the activities of a member of the Sherlock Holmes community who has been a mentor to others, in the spirit of Susan Rice.

This year's honoree, announced at the William Gillette Luncheon, was Francine Kitts, BSI ("Lady Hilda Trelawney Hope").

Ray Betzner presents Francine Kitts the award (photo credit: Will Walsh)

The inaugural award went to Peter Blau, BSI ("Black Peter") and the second annual award went to Evy Herzog, BSI ("The Daintiest Thing Under a Bonnet").

Plaudits From the BSI Dinner

As ever, the swirling curiosity and interest are centered on the Baker Street Irregulars annual investitures of new members. But before that, we were greeted with other substantial news.

The Woman

The Woman, an honorific given to the spouse of a Baker Street Irregular was announced at the pre-dinner reception. This year's honoree was Pamela Wampler, wife of Steven Doyle, BSI ("The Western Morning News"). She was toasted and introduced by Mark Gagen, BSI ("Sir James Damery"), after which Pam gave her own good-spirited remarks.

The Morley-Montgomery Award

Each year, one article in the Baker Street Journal (as determined by a panel of judges) is chosen for the Morley-Montgomery Award

This year, the award was given to Eric Scace for his article “Five Quarter Centuries of Confusion Over the Missing Three-Quarter,” concerning the nuances of Victorian telegraphy that appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of the BSJ.

Eric's partner Jessica Schilling won the 2020 Morley-Montgomery Award for her article “Just His Type: An Analysis of the Découpé Warning in The Hound of the Baskervilles.” This makes them the first Sherlockian couple to individually hold the award.

The Honours List (Investitures)

And then we arrived at the announcement of the latest investitures into the Baker Street Irregulars. Membership is granted by Michael Kean, BSI ("General Gordon"), who serves at the BSI's "Wiggins." Each member receives an investiture — a phrase from the Sherlock Holmes canon that is significant or in other ways meaningful to that person.

The BSI's Class of 2024 is:
  • Rudy Altergott — "Old Patrick"
  • Derrick Belanger — "The Board Schools"
  • Tom Brydges — "Waterloo Bridge"
  • Fabienne Courouge — "Henri Fournaye"
  • Daniel L. Friedman — "Sir Leslie Oakshott"
  • Chuck Kovacic — "Baker Street"
  • Stephen Chahn Lee — "Alex MacDonald"
  • Danna A. Mancini — "McMurdo"
  • Maxine H. Reneker — "Lomax, the Sub-Librarian"
  • Olivia Rutigliano —  "Lady Alicia Whittington"
  • Jessica Schilling — "The Queen's Shilling" 
  • Robert Sharfman — "Killer Evans"
  • Liese Fabre — "Mrs. Farintosh"
  • George Schwartz — "The Alpha Inn"

Otto Penzler, BSI ("The King of Bohemia") received the Two Shilling Award, for service above and beyond.

We're pleased to note that five of the recipients above have appeared as interview guests on I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. This doesn't mean that IHOSE confers shilling-worthiness on guests, but it does indicate our producers' good taste.

It is difficult to capture all of the activities of the BSI Weekend, due to so many small groups branching out to honor their own traditions, including named events such as ASH Wednesday, Lost in New York with a Bunch of Sherlockians, and the ASH Brunch. Not to mention other events like the Vendors Room, the BSI Reception.

A comprehensive report of the events will be in the Spring issue of the Baker Street Journal. Check your subscription to make sure you're on the list!

As ever, the game's afoot!