Saturday, March 09, 2013

Society Saturday - The Town Crier

While visiting family in Ohio, it happened to be the same weekend as a meeting of my old DAR chapter.  I first joined the Fort Industry chapter, NSDAR in 1980.  I still maintain my associate membership with them, and receive their monthly newsletters.
My mother and I attended their chapter meeting and had a nice time.  The program was given by Michael Lieber, the official town crier for Sylvania, OH.
He began with a proclamation about DAR, and a little of the history of northwest Ohio.  Then he talked about how he became interested in being a town crier, a little about the competitions he has been in, and some of his other appearances.
Some of the interesting facts about town criers are:
1. They date from the time of the Norman conquest
2. It was illegal to harm the town crier if you didn't like what they had to say
In other words, "don't shoot the messenger"
3. Early town criers were often tried military officers who could read and write.
4. An official town crier can speak in place of a mayor for events such as proclamations and parades.

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