How Do You Recommend Someone For A Pelican?
Anyone can recommend anyone for admission to the Order of the Pelican. It is best done in writing, and emails or letters can be sent to the Crown of Lochac and/or the Pelican Clerk. (See Master Richard de la Croix's letter template below.)
All recommendations received are put before the members of the Order. Where prospective candidates are not yet ready for consideration by the Order, their recommendations are archived for when the time comes. Bear in mind it may take some time for a candidate to be assessed, or to be found worthy of consideration. A person up for a Peerage is a person who has demonstrated that they are in it for the long haul. Be patient.
The Order is interested hearing about two main areas:
Peerage qualities refer to the facets covered in Corpora regarding the personal aspects of the candidate. (See the full peerage quality listing here.) In short -- are they a well-rounded individual who upholds the ideals of the Society and what it stands for? Are they the sort of role model you would point to in terms of courtesy, leadership, largesse, grace etc? Are they admirable?
If you can provide examples of where they have demonstrated these qualities, that helps a great deal. Do they have a related award, such as a Rowan or a Lochac Order of Grace? How do they operate under pressure? Is this the sort of person one takes a problem to or hides a problem from? Or, to put it another way, when they turn up do you say "thank god" or "oh god"?
If there are examples of where they have failed to demonstrate these qualities, do you know if there were extenuating circumstances or did they do something to redress or address the issue? We don't expect perfection! But it helps to know if people are mature enough to recognise when they don't live up to the standards we'd like them to, and what they do about that.
Body of work can be harder to define, and every Pelican will have a different viewpoint on how to assess it. Obvious examples to include in a recommendation would be information on what positions the candidate has held in their group or at Kingdom level; what events have they stewarded or helped significantly with; what do they contribute, and how reliably or regularly? We primarily focus on the past 3-5 years, but it is valuable to know that there is a longer pattern of service. Some would consider 10+ years as a solid foundation for a Pelican's body of work.
But Pelican service is about more than just working hard -- as important is to note how that work was done and what it achieved. It should involve building stronger groups and capabilities, developing others, taking a strategic view. What are they doing to enhance or improve things for others? Many people can serve competently in an office, but it is less common to see people look to improve how the office functions, make it more effective, and find resources to strengthen it or ways to make it easier for a successor to handle, or provide more benefits to the populace or Society. That's the sort of thing that marks a Pelican approach, and it's that sort of thinking which takes work above and beyond to the level of service. (See some comments on this in the What Do Pelicans Do? section.)
It can be helpful to include information on what service awards the candidate has, if any, both at local group and Kingdom level. You can check that out by searching for them on Canon Lore. A Golden Tear or a Silver Pegasus may be something more appropriate for the stage they are at -- Pelican service takes time and a great deal of consistency to build up into a full-fledged body of work.
That said, we have members in the Order who have received no other service awards, members who were elevated without serving in any office, others who have never stewarded an event. There are many ways to serve the Dream -- and we'd like to hear about them.
Things to Remember and a Letter Template
Here are some thoughts and practical tips from Master Richard de la Croix, part of an article for Pegasus which he wrote some time ago:
By far the greatest confusion about the Order of the Pelican amongst the populace at large seems to centre on writing recommendations.
The most important thing, however, is: PUT IT IN WRITING
Verbal recommendations are almost always forgotten in the rush to cover the majority of candidates on the list at meetings. Letters received for someone already on one of our Lists (see What Happens in Meetings?) will also serve to have them discussed.
No doubt, after reading all that I've written you now have a burning desire to sit down this instant and write a letter of recommendation. That being the case, below is a brief template you might like to follow. Feel free to embellish or simplify it as you will.
Let me reiterate, if there is someone you think deserves an award (be it a Pelican or otherwise), try and take time out to write a recommendation letter for him/her -- it could make all the difference. The effects of just one letter on behalf of a candidate can often tip the balance in his/her favour during a discussion. Remember also that for the best and most direct approach, letters should be sent to the Pelican Clerk