Time has a way of changing the meaning of things. That’s why it’s good to go into the archives once in a while. I did that recently as I reorganized almost 60 years of Sherlockian material in a file cabinet. One of the treasured items I rediscovered was a pamphlet called “Canonical Nuptials.”
As the subtitle explains, “Canonical Nuptials” is “a quiz relating to weddings in the Sherlock Holmes stories.” The late Paul D. Herbert, BSI, founder and Official Secretary of the Tankerville Club of Cincinnati, created it for his own marriage to Barbara Ann Morgan on Feb. 25, 1984. It was printed in a limited edition of 50 copies, signed by the bride and groom, and presented to the guests (of which I was one) as a keepsake.
Like all of Paul’s quizzes, it is quite clever. (“17. What wedding had two grooms on the altar at the same time?”) But what struck me as I opened the quiz for the first time in many years was the first question: “Who went to St. Saviour’s, near King’s Cross, to be married?” I’m not sure I would know the answer if “St. Saviour’s Near King’s Cross” wasn’t my investiture in the Baker Street Irregulars! And certainly that gives it a meaning for me that it didn't have in 1984.
Paul passed beyond the Reichenbach on Feb. 16, 2018. He was buried Feb. 21 – or 2/21. Barbara Herbert remains the Woman of the Tankerville Club.