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14Th Anniversary Address

Anniversary 14

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#1 OFFLINE   Giselle DLisle

Giselle DLisle

    Chairman of the Governors ; Supreme Mugwump of the ICW

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 01:19 AM

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My Friends,

 

This week marks the 14th year since the founding of Hogwarts Online on July 26, 2005. Before there were Governors deliberating, professors applying, students plotting, there was a simple group friends and together they created Armoise Academy - the foundation on which this storied and beloved site would be built. It took many years to become the leading Harry Potter RPG forum and a lot of hard work from people like Chauncey Clemenceau and Malimar Snute. Then came Ann Omagan, Luna Creevey, Ginny Tonks, and Bella Lombardi who, with Chauncey, set us on the path to greatness.

 

Also there, was Prof. Patricia Darvus who was interviewed and hired by Chauncey and Ann to teach magical arts. That professor, as it turns out was a 10 year old from the Midwest with a love of Harry Potter. He had just moved away from his home, his family, all of his friends. Somehow, Hogwarts Online felt like home. That 10 year old was me and "also there" is a fitting start to my story because my role on the site, for many years, was a simple member with an extraordinary ability to piss people off. Still, I was there.

 

I was there when Revan Yakuza, the son of the Dark Lord roamed the halls of Hogwarts and Zenos Dumbledore oversaw the Ministry of Magic. I was there when Katelynn Clemenceau was murdered and when time turned back for a do-over. I was there when Peeves became human and Elizabeth Peevison reigned as the Pirate Queen of Hufflepuff. I was there for the first, the second, and the third Durmstrang and Beauxbatons; when a plague infected Hogwarts and the Heads of House united to defend the school on the shore of the Black Lake; when Rici Devlin was whipping students in the Chamber; when Sorcha Logan drunkenly stumbled off the end of a pier; when Robert Travers swaggered down the corridors; when Felicity Amello roared onto the scene as Mama Lion. It didnt always make sense, but it was beautiful. And I was there.

 

I was also there when Starlight Night's blessed sweetness was taken from our site too soon; when the forums were hacked and almost destroyed; for every schism and split and exodus, every ban, every scandal, every loss. I was never important, but I was there and I made friendships and gained important life experiences to last a lifetime. They have brought me happiness and made me successful in life.

 

These experiences, good and bad, are what helped me grow up and they prepared me to eventually take over the site that had been my home (and the home of hundreds of others) for many years. I admit, it wasn't always perfect, we saw our share of vindictive leaders, poor decisions, disharmony, and hurt. I also admit that there were times I feel I may have been responsible for some of those things. People came and went, the activity rose and fell, we moved and got hacked again, but we always survived. When I took over as the owner of this site it was my hope that I would be able to give back to the place and the people who gave so much to me.

 

With the handling of the announcement of our decision to close Durmstrang, I feel I failed you, by not doing more before hand to take your input into account and adequately explain why the decision had to be made. I worked hard to correct that once I realized my error by taking member input into account and altering the closure plans. It is my sincere wish that moving forward, this mistake will not be made again.

 

I know that many of you are saddened by the return to a Hogwarts-based site and I understand your pain. However, the one thing that has always set our site apart is our ability to endure in times of hardship. We may disagree or dislike some of the decisions that are made, no matter how much say we have in them, but we always stand together as a community and that is how we have survived. So, I ask you all to stand with me now, to have patience as I strive to be the leader you deserve.

 

In 15 years, when we all meet again in some virtual reality version of Hogwarts, I want you all to be able to say "I was there" to a lonely 10 year old from the Midwest, looking for a place to call home.

 

With Eternal Love and Dedication,

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#2 OFFLINE   Prof. Amhlaidh Haugen

Prof. Amhlaidh Haugen

    Vanaheim HOH, Divinatory & Astronomy Arts Dept Head, Freyja Alumni, Hogwarts Transfer

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 03:48 AM

Dear Giselle,

 

Thank you very much for this message of you. Hogwarts Online is one of the greatest communities online to be and to be member off. Though I came at a much later date a member, and I am not around so very long, the site holds my heart. Decisions are made we like it or not, in the benefit of all, I understand that very well. Scandinavia, although I am not from there, hold a very personal note for me, and Durmstrang was the school my heart went ultimately too, and I have given what I could, but as you feel you failed, I feel in the same way. You're not alone in there. I am sure we will build for a sustainable future, where sadness, love and joy can shared.

 

From Holland with warm regards,

 

Aikári Salmarinian


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#3 OFFLINE   Official Annabeth Kane

Official Annabeth Kane

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 06:29 AM

You are amazing, in time people will move on and carry on rping like this is normal. 


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#4 OFFLINE   Prof. Gregory Opal

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:42 AM

Very well said, and very touching!  <3


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#5 OFFLINE   Prof. Rici Devlin

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 12:24 PM

I remember when you first came on the scene here. A random ministry post that threw all of us in an uproar as to ban you or not. We gave you a chance at Durmstrang, or at least I did. I even made you Xtreme. We really thought you were older than you were by your lengthy, detailed posts right from the start. I think you were 12 before you admitted your real age to me. Yes, there was times when a road trip to Ohio to throttle you sounded like a perfect idea, but you've come a long way from being that annoying teenage boy (my son is now 14, I'd like to throttle him every now and then too).

As for Durmstrang closing, give it time it'll come back, it always comes back.
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#6 OFFLINE   Healer Elisabeth Matheson

Healer Elisabeth Matheson

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 02:13 PM

My dearest darlingest friend (because there can be no response to Giselle without a wicked reference in my head)

 

Where to begin. Where to begin. Well. I had to switch to Elisabeth, first of all, because I distinctly remember her meeting Adrienne and me being miffed as all get out that you could not, or would not, I don't remember, spell her name right. To the point that I very pointedly capitalized the S in the middle in several spots throughout a post. I remember us not always seeing eye to eye in those early days, you and Stella/Katy as well. And then somehow, some way, that evolving into the hilarity of skype sessions that we always SAID would end at a reasonable hour, and me groggily dragging my tired behind to my college courses the next day. 

 

I remember that when my life started to fall apart the first time, you, Fee, Lizzie, Stella, Adrian, Adreia, Eric (because who can remember which accounts he was actually active on at the time ;), probably Josh) Tiff, Kelly, Sadah, Gabs, Steff and so many others being the people I talked to daily when I couldn't stomach leaving my house. Many of you are the people I still talk to daily now that it feels like it's falling apart again. 

 

I have left and come back more times than I can count. I've quit RP all together because I didn't have time, but I come home every time. Why? You all bring me joy. You've saved my life. I'm grateful that I stumbled across this place one day when I was lonely and sad and wanted to write about harry potter after a long gap from when I used to do letter style RP on the free open diary and live journal (TALK ABOUT ANCIENT HISTORY Y'ALL. some of you childrens probably don't even know what those sites are.)

 

Remember, this place has been through many changes. I remember when there was an international confederation site off site and we had other sites connected to us and I met other friends through like.... alene academy, this made up irish school. HO has connected so many people over the years and come back from so many things. And like Rici said, Durm will be back (and let's be real, so will Beaux, no plot write out will keep a powerful ancient magical castle down) Growing pains happen for any site, and we're lucky to have a place that has been here for this long. <3

 

Love you my friends


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#7 OFFLINE   Prof. Sorcha Logan

Prof. Sorcha Logan

    Headmistress of Hogwarts, Director of Student Life

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 02:18 PM

I have so much love for you and everything this represents.


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#8 OFFLINE   Healer Allen Liddell

Healer Allen Liddell

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 03:22 PM

Congratulations & Happy Anniversary

 

Hogwarts Online had a history of controversial events, shaken of beliefs, and upraising of opinions...
Yet, here we are heading almost to the 15th Anniversary of the website.

 

Throughout the years we had seen people coming, people going,

Some sooner than others, others leaving our hearts with scars and heavy grief.
There were darkest periods and time where our hopes had been shaken,

Yet, here we are raising our glasses to celebrate the 14th Anniversary of Hogwarts Online.

 

Nowadays, even in light of this celebration, things maybe not so bright,
And the next periods may be unknown the outcome...

However, I like to end this message with one of my favorite quotes of this universe

 

"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times,

When one only remembers to turn on the light."

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

giphy.gif

 


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#9 OFFLINE   Official Eryka van der Zwan

Official Eryka van der Zwan

    Ravenclaw Alumna, Head Cursebreaker at IMCD

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:33 PM

The creative mind of one woman, JK Rowling, set us all on an adventure of a lifetime.  It was the brilliant minds of friends who opened the passage in Diagon Alley to all of the members.   Regardless of location, station, age or background we have to thank the few friends who started a website to roleplay out their lives in the magical Wizarding World.  Bound together by the love for a few books (and/or movies).  The website had started before the book series had concluded or expanded in the many directions it has over the years.  The characters in the book are still close.  The actors and crew that portrayed them are still friends.  It is easy to see how; this site had the same effect on its founders, foundation and members.   A ten year old grew up in these hallowed halls and now is the chairman of the board!  The magical community of HOgwarts supports you and your Administrative team.

 

I had joined HO for several years reading.  There was so much content to read.  The past of the site, the current action, and the future looked always so bright and appealing. Shamefully I would rather get lost here then weeding the spam in my own mailbox. The notifications that someone had posted would make that familiar sound on my desktop and I would race to see what was said, done or reacted to.   Real time with HOgwarts, my family and I thought of it like the radio shows of yore.  When I needed therapy to recover, it was HOgwarts that I read aloud.  Not Harry Potter.  =]

 

There were moments that I felt I was missing something.  So much more work goes in to our creative magical world.  It was as if reality had somehow seeped in?  That was the hard work and challenges that the administration worked through.  Challenges.  Not problems.  If I had stock in aspirin or wine, I would have galleons at Gringott's.  [Heck my post might make you crack open a bottle, which would put a few more sickles in my vault.]  Each and everytime a challenge rose, you, the wonderful people here at Hogwarts worked together.  Daunting challenges meant creative solutions.  Making tough decisions, being fair, working hard, chiselling the stone walls with tools, wands or your own fingertips to make HOgwarts a community, a gezellig home for everyone. 

 

Each of the arrivals, departures and changes have all been a part of this wonderful world, created for those who found themselves truly at home.  Not always with like minds.  Not always with the one they loved.  Not always perfect.  Yet, very much like the real magical world we share.  Change is part of any living thing.  The changes that were made, never really held anyone back.  To keep people safe.  To ensure the future of our magical world. These adaptions, were the Admins solutions, that over the years have made a home.   I know that I am grateful for all the little things, wonderful moments and monsterous sized challenges you work through together. 

 

An expression comes to mind: a door closes, but a window opens. This site, the admins, the writers, the creative minds and the members is what draws me home.   The plots, powerplays, banning, creative differences might shake the buildings but ... NEVER  the FOUNDATION of HOgwarts.  Tears will fall.  Lovely friends become cherished memories.  Bits of stone will get upcycled.  The warmth of family and friends is the love that trickles down into the soil that feeds the magical bedrock of HOgwarts.   That is why there is too much magic at Hogwarts.  That is why the electronic devices fail to work properly.   We have no one, but the oldest form of magic to blame.  It is our love, that stops the non magical world from working properly around us.  That loving hygge, I hope inspires those that create, work and maintain HOgwarts magic.

 

The dearest of friends, creative people, new wonderous witches & wizards,

dasterdly dark wizards, incredible beings, charming creatures, healthy vegetation

and mysterious monsterous piles of paperwork that creates a magical world around the (Clawmazing)

Foundation of HOgwarts for over fourteen years.  

 

 

I wish you all,  health, happiness and a magical lifetime together.

<3


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#10 OFFLINE   Prof. Chauncey Clemenceau

Prof. Chauncey Clemenceau

    Founder of HO - Governor for Life

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 10:51 AM

Thank you for carrying on the HO legacy that HO will always be HOme to those that need it!

 

Happy Anniversary!


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#11 OFFLINE   Sean Bergmeister

Sean Bergmeister

    Ravenclaw Quidditch Team Keeper, Half-Giant

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 06:39 PM

Happy Anniversary!

 

There is always room at HOme.

/a rather large hug


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#12 OFFLINE   Raiden Yakuza

Raiden Yakuza
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Posted 01 October 2019 - 11:36 PM

We’re all a little older, a little wiser, and in my case a little more salt and pepper in the hair. There is something special about a community that has kept going for nearly fifteen years. That’s no easy feat, most people go through multiple friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses as if it was just a phase of there life. That's what makes HO special, it's genuine.
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