As we head towards the end of 2020, we have no choice but to look forward to what the future may hold. The title of this article is twofold; first, after month after month of holding fast and abstaining from many of our regular activities in order to contribute to slowing the spread of Covid, we hope that the future will bring anything but the status quo. Though, on the other hand, we find that this year has given us the opportunity of reassessing the status quo and showing us it is possible to operate in new ways.
We applaud the Temple leadership’s finding of new sources of income by leasing out some of our unused land. The digital meetings, both social and business, have allowed Aleppo Nobles who live at a distance, including even some from our Shrine Club in the Dominican Republic, to participate in ways they normally would not have been able.
Within the Minutemen, as previously mentioned, we find the opportune time to refit all our members in our new uniforms. If this had been a “normal” year, we would have to refit new members in our old uniform so that they could participate in parades, only to immediately turn around and outfit them in the new uniform so we could debut them as a whole unit.
We also find time to work on renovating our unit room. If this was a “normal” year, we would need to leave space for our monthly meetings; but now we have been able to pack up all our equipment and trash the old furniture leaving space to actually do the renovations.
We find time to reassess our leadership responsibilities and plan out a new drill system. There is time to develop our lessons and work out any issues before we need to put it into practice.
So in a way, 2020 is, and has been, anything but the status quo.
Though there are ways to still gather in groups, we decided not to have our annual holiday muster.
As virtual meetings look to be continuing in the near future, we will be presenting some excerpts from our musket safety course as well as some introductory discussions of drill. We will then be prepared for when we are able to drill in person. This will be sometime shortly after the new year as even as social distancing measures will most likely still be in place, we at Aleppo are lucky to have plenty of space available to us in the auditorium where we can spread out and still practice marching formations even in inclement weather.
We are pleased to welcome another new member, Steven Dwyer, who just became a Noble in mid-November! Whenever it is that our next parade is, with perfect attendance we will be able to put 16 or 17 on the street plus a couple of riders in our chase car. We are excited to continue growing the unit as we get closer to the 250th anniversary of the country and the 50th anniversary of our unit!