BSI Honours List: Our list of people recognized for achievements and service uses the British spelling of "honours."
The Baker Street Irregulars: In The Sign of Four, Holmes utilized a group of rag-tag young street urchins to keep lookout on certain people or places. Holmes called them “The Baker Street Irregulars.” Christopher Morley used this name in 1934 for his group of Sherlockian enthusiasts.
BSI HonoursInvestitures: In 1944, Edgar Smith sent a letter to all BSI stating that, henceforth, BSI membership shall be identified by the issuance of a titular Investiture taken from the sixty Sherlock Holmes stories. Since then, when a person is made a member (“invested” or, as Edgar Smith said, “investitured”), he or she receives an Investiture title.
Irregular Shilling: In 1948, Cy Keller, a banker and magician from Baltimore, suggested that Investitures be accompanied by a shilling. Since then, a new BSI member's certificate of Investiture has included a real shilling attached to it. (In The Sign of Four, Holmes asked a young boy if there was anything he would like. "I'd like a shillin'," said he. "Nothing you would like better?" [said Holmes]. "I'd like two shillin' better.")
The Woman: In 1942, Edith Meiser was honored by the BSI by being invited to attend the cocktail hour preceding the Annual Dinner. In the following years, other women were so honored. The custom was formalized by Julian Wolff in 1961, and the honor was entitled The Woman in recognition of Irene Adler from "A Scandal in Bohemia." ("To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman.") Beginning in 1967, The Woman has proceeded from the cocktail hour to a small dinner party, attended by previous honorees.
"Stand with me here upon the terrace . . .": In the January 1946 issue of the BSJ, the names of those BSI who recently died were listed, followed by a quote from "His Last Bow": “ . . . Stand with me here upon the terrace, for it may be the last quiet talk that we shall ever have.” At the 1953 Dinner, the BSI initiated a “Stand with Me upon the Terrace” ritual, in which those who died (usually in the previous year) are remembered.
Morley-Montgomery Award: In 1958, this prize was established through the generosity of legendary bookdealer Lew D. Feldman, to be given each year to the author of the best article in The Baker Street Journal during the previous year. It was suspended in 1980 and was reinstated in 1995.
BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture: In 1998, the BSI added a Distinguished Speaker Lecture as part of the Weekend festivities. Each speaker's work has somehow affected the Sherlockian world, and the talk is usually published later in the BSJ.
Eddy Award: In 2011, Michael Whelan initiated the Eddy Award to honor those who edited BSI publications.
See also our Brief History of the BSI for more about the organization.