The beginnings of Starleaf Gate are mainly secreted away in the scattered memories of a few of the existing members. As far as their memories can recall the early days of the shire are as follows.
House of McGregor
The shire came into existence with a group of students attending the University of Windsor. About 1978 or 1979 the House McGregor was formed with Morgan of Lindisfarne, Debbie Carter ( now deceased), as the first seneschal, who also wrote the first kingdom book on needlework, and her husband Kwolf, John Carter, a fighter. The Minister of Arts and Science was Clancy Longstrider, their dog, an Irish setter, who signed his reports with a paw print. He received an Award of Paws ( Order of Precedence; AOP 1981 March 14th given to a dog in good humour AOP) , for never being late with a report. His memory has been immortalised in Starleaf Gate’s Clancy Day held annually in April. Other members were Kalock- Kelly Recuda, Killkoba- Rick Recuda, Kalum- Dave McCall, Randy McCall- Kalum, Frank Butler- Rory Armon. Kalum started the appropriate process to disband the house around 1985.
In September of 1986, Kelly Recuda and Frank Butler decided to form a new group. To promote the new group, Kalock (Kelly Recuda) and Rory Armon (Frank Butler), on their own, staged the Gathering of the Clans in St Dennis Hall U of W. As a result of this event, which could only afford a green length of wool as the site token, the Maristons, Portia, Mave, JP, Ragnar and Caitlin, Judy and Peter joined. Rory was Seneschal, Rod Armstrong was elected herald but did not take part in the life of the shire for two years. Mave was the Minister of Arts while Albert of Windsor was Minister of Science. H. G. Smith was an early member, who is now a retired professor of the University of Windsor. He wrote books for Dover Publishing.
First Clancy Day
The first few Clancy Days were held at the University of Windsor as most of the members were students at the time and it was considered a university club. Due to union restrictions all food preparation had to be done by U of W staff leaving the shire people to take care of the other details. This arrangement worked well for several years until the shire was no longer considered a university club. The early favours were shamrock and dog cookies in sealed bags.
The shire moved to the former J.T. Wing Co. building at the corner of Dufferin and Pitt streets, where the present casino is located. There was room enough so that Ron and Dave could have a workshop that produced a trebuchet, ballista, Welsh coracle and Viking loom. They called themselves the “Highland Corp of Engineers”. Wednesday nights saw the fighters in Ragnar’s basement making armour.