At the joint conference of the Shakespeare Fellowship (SF) and Shakespeare Oxford Society (SOS) in Toronto (Oct. 17-20), both organizations counted the votes that members had sent us on the issue of unifying the two groups. I’m happy to say that the vote in both organizations was overwhelmingly (about 95%) in favor of unification. After the filing of a few legal documents, the unification will be complete. The new “Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship” (SOF) Board (of which I am 1st vice president) has already begun the work of merging the operations of the two groups. John Hamill will be SOF president for the coming year.
Members of the SF will still receive one more issue of Shakespeare Matters from us before the end of year. The SOS will send out one more newsletter this year to those of you who are also members of that group. Near the first of the year, you will receive a renewal notice, but it will come from the newly unified SOF. I hope you will renew your membership. Regular Membership dues are $65, which will include the quarterly newsletter and hard copies of our two annual journals, The Oxfordian and Brief Chronicles. If you prefer, you may renew as a Basic Member for only $50, for which you will receive the quarterly newsletter in the mail.
By the way, you are reading this news on our beautiful, newly redesigned website. Jennifer Newton, who hosts the “Shakespeare Underground” website is the designer, and I think you will agree that she did a fantastic job. The website is much more visual and user-friendly. Please check out its various features and recommend it to your friends. Of course, it will soon become the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship website, and we will start importing materials from the SOS website. The current web addresses of the SF and SOS will eventually be redirected to the SOF site. All of this will take some time, but we look forward to the challenge, and we now have an exciting new website for our use and pleasure.
It has been a great honor to serve as your president for the last year. I feel we have accomplished a great deal together. I believe that the forming of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship will give added impetus to the Oxfordian movement in North America.
1st Vice President, Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship (2013-14)