(Original Programme, Page Two)

Scion Society of

by Edgar W. Smith


April 14, 1977
University of South Carolina Campus
Columbia, South Carolina, U. S. A.


            By Canonical definition, a Baker Street Irregular is one who, in the Sherockian world, is prepared—and equipped— to “go everywhere, see everything, overhear everyone.” That is a large if somewhat technical specification; but the source from which it derives commends it to consideration.

            More narrowly, a Baker Street Irregular is a member, in good and accepted standing, of that small band of zealots which grouped itself together, one June evening in the fargone year of 1934, for the avowed and unashamed purpose of keeping green in perpetuity the name and fame of Sherlock Holmes. The solid core of that organisation is composed of some sixty individuals otherwise admittedly if not provably sane, who spend the better part of their leisure time in activities devoted to the propagation of the faith. And adhering to that core, so closely that distinction has become impossible, are the members of the Scion Societies throughout the land, whose only peculiarity—although none but a New Yorker would regard it as such—is their resi­dence in the strange and distant provinces.

            More narrowly still, a Baker Street Irregular is a stockholder in the minuscule corporation, separate and apart from the social organism itself, which has been cre­ated for the philanthropic purpose of defending before the law the public rights and equities of Sherlock Holmes, and his attendant aura, against the threats and importunities of those egregious Heirs of Minstead who pretend to hold the Master in patent. Of these incorporated Irregulars there are, to date no more than six.

            But the attribution of true Irregularity is not to be found in any of these categoric definitions. An Irregular is, in sober fact any kindred soul who gives spontane­ously and abundantly of his time and thought in devotion to the Sacred Writings and to the writings about the Writ­ings; who feels his pulse quicken and his step seem light­er whenever, in a darkling world, he turns the corner of reality into the most magic of all streets. He is one of that legion who cluster about the banners which Dr. Watson and his followers have raised, and who occasionally as the spirit moves them, raise a modest banner of their own.



            He is a zealot in his own right and a defender and pro­tagonist of the zeal in others that seeks to keep alive the cause in which he shares belief. He is the kind of person, in a word, who reads The Baker Street Journal, and gives it his support.

            That is why Ben Abramson has offered, and has been em­powered to offer, honorary Irregularity to all who sub­scribe to the Journal. That is why the Irregulars them­selves, in whatever category they may be found, extend a hand of honouring and honoured welcome.


* Reprinted from “The Editor’s Gas-Lamp,” BSJ (OS) 3:135 - 136, 1948.