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Ceremonial mace

A ceremonial mace is a ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high officials in civic ceremonies by a mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority. The mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon. Processions feature maces, as on parliamentary or formal academic occasions. Ceremonial maces originated in the Ancient Near East, where they were used as symbols of rank and authority across the region during the late Stone Age, Bronze Age, early Iron Age. Among the oldest known ceremonial maceheads are the Ancient Egyptian Scorpion Macehead and Narmer Macehead. In Mesopotamian art, the mace is more associated with authority. Ceremonial maces are prominently depicted in the royal art of Ancient Assyria, such as the Stela of Ashurnasirpal II and the Stela of Shamshi-Adad V, in which the Assyrian kings are shown performing rites or making religious gestures while holding a mace to symbolise their authority; some officials of the medieval Eastern Roman Empire carried maces for either practical or ceremonial purposes.

Notable among the latter is the protoallagator, a military-judicial position that existed by about the 10th century A. D. and whose symbols of office were reported by the Palaiologan writer Pseudo-Kodinos in the 14th century to include a silver-gilt mace. At this time the duties of the protoallagator included commanding the emperor's personal allagion, his military retinue; the ceremonial function of the mace may have passed to the late Roman Empire from the ancient Near East by way of Persia, from there to other European cultures. The earliest ceremonial maces in France and England were practical weapons intended to protect the king's person, borne by the Sergeants-at-Arms, a royal bodyguard established in France by Philip II, in England by Richard I. By the 14th century, these sergeants' maces had started to become decorative, encased in precious metals; as a weapon, the mace fell out of use with the disappearance of heavy armour. The history of the civic mace begins around the middle of the 13th century, though no examples from that period remain today.

The oldest civic mace in England is that of Hedon. It was granted in 1415. At the time, ornamented civic maces were considered an infringement of one of the privileges of the king's sergeants, who alone deserved to bear maces enriched with costly metals, according to a House of Commons petition of 1344. However, the sergeants of London gained this privilege, as did those of York and Chester. Records exist of maces covered with silver in use at Exeter in 1387–1388. Several other cities and towns subsequently acquired silver maces, the 16th century saw universal use. Early in the 15th century, the flanged end of the mace was carried uppermost, with the small button bearing the royal arms in the base. By the beginning of the Tudor period, the blade-like flanges made for offence, degenerated into mere ornaments, while the increased importance of the end with the royal arms resulted in the reversal of the position; the custom of carrying the flanged end upward did not die out at once: a few maces, such as the Winchcombe silver maces, which date from the end of the 15th century, were made to be carried both ways.

The Guildford mace provides one of the finest of the fifteen specimens of the 15th century. Craftsmen pierced and decorated the flanged ends of the maces of this period beautifully; these flanges became smaller, by the 16th or early 17th century had developed into pretty projecting scroll-brackets and other ornaments, which remained in vogue until about 1640. The next development in the embellishment of the shaft was the reappearance of these small scroll-brackets on the top under the head of the mace, they disappear altogether from the foot in the last half of the 17th century, remain only under the heads, or, in rarer instances, on a knob on the shaft. The silver mace-heads were plain, with a cresting of leaves or flowers in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the reign of James I of England they began to be engraved and decorated with heraldic devices and similar ornamentation; as the custom of having sergeants' maces began to die out about 1650, the large maces borne before the mayor or bailiffs came into general use.

Thomas Maundy functioned as the chief maker of maces during the English Commonwealth. He made the mace for the House of Commons in 1649; this mace is still in use today, though without the original head. The original head, not engraved with regal symbols, was replaced by one with regal symbols at the time of the Restoration of the monarchy. Oliver Cromwell referred to the House of Commons mace as "a fool's bauble" when he dissolved the Rump Parliament in 1653; the ceremonial maces of the Australian House of Representatives and the Australian Senate symbolise both the authority of each chamber and the royal authority of Australia's monarch. The ceremonial mace of the Senate of Australia is the Black Rod; the ceremonial custodian of the Black Rod is the Usher of the Black Rod. The Sergeant-at-Arms of the Australian House of Representati

Harry Davis (gangster)

Harry Davis was a Montreal gangster and the city's last "edge man" back when the ‘Jewish Mafia’ ran the city. Davis, a Jewish mobster, ran Montreal's underworld for a year before he was shot to death in one of his betting emporiums at 1224 St. Catherine Street, by Louis Bercovitch, a rival Jewish mobster. Although Montreal was the gambling capital of Canada and known as a ‘wide open city’ across North America, Davis’ death shocked the public, it acted as a wake up call for the masses of society in that it showed them, for the first time in a decade, that vice and organized crime in Montreal was real. Public opinion and an involved press put pressure on the police to begin taking real action against vice within the city. Fernand Dufresnse, the chief of police, publicly denounced and fired Captain Arthur Taché, the head of the Morality squad, in order to avoid a judicial inquiry into the matter. Shortly after Taché was fired, Dufresne hired Pacifique "Pax" Plante, a not well known lawyer, to lead the Morality Squad.

Plante would lead a crusade against institutionalized vice in Montreal. After he was fired from his position as head of the Morality Squad in 1948, he continued to target vice and organized crime through his newspaper column, "Sous le règne de la pègre" in Le Devoir. Plante worked in conjunction with Gérald Pelletier writing daily articles for Le Devoir with the intent to inform and mobilize the public against organized crime, his articles drew massive public support and resulted in an increase in public demands to end vice within the city. By 1950 it had become clear that the public were willing to back Plante in his crusade against corruption. In 1950 he teamed up with Jean Drapeau to launch the Caron Inquiry, the city's largest inquiry of the twentieth century on organized crime. Harry Davis, a Romanian immigrant, arrived in Montreal in the 1920s. Davis, like most immigrants, was poor and he spent his early years working long hours doing various jobs for cash. By the age of twenty-eight he had saved up enough money to begin investing in nightclubs.

Davis first made his mark in Montreal's underworld when he opened a betting emporium in the heart of the city, at 1224 Stanley Street. Davis’ betting emporium offered blackjack, roulette and continental wide horse betting to its visitors. To increase profits and his colleagues would front gamblers large sums of money with ridiculously high interest rates. Davis soon became the ‘edge man’ in the late 1920s. At the time gambling was illegal, however the edge paid off the police force so that gambling institutions would be able to continue to prosper in Montreal. Beginning in the early 1930s, several of Montreal's most prominent professional gamblers were believed to be involved in the international narcotics trade. In 1930, Harry Davis and Charles "Charlie" Feigenbaum, another Romanian Jewish immigrant, teamed up with Pincus Brecher, their New York connection, to smuggle European heroin and cocaine into Canada and the United States; the smuggled drugs were hidden amongst rolls of imported silk and other commodities, were delivered to Davis and Feigenbaum from ships leaving from Europe for Montreal.

The two men would send them south across the border. After three years of smuggling drugs, their operation ended on April 9, 1933, when the three men, along with six others, were arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Davis’ trial began on October 1, 1933, he was charged and found guilty of five separate counts of importing drugs and corrupting law enforcement officers. Davis received ten lashes for his crimes and a fourteen-year prison sentence at Montreal's St-Vincent-de-Paul Penitentiary. Davis’ sentence lasted only twelve years, he was released in 1945. Brecher never served his complete sentence since he jumped head first over the prison balcony and plummeted to his death in September 1934. Feigenbaum cut a deal with the police, in exchange for acting as the Crown's key witness against his colleagues during the trial, Feigenbaum was granted a shorter sentence and served only six months in jail. Less than a year after the trial, Feigenbaum was shot dead in broad daylight on August 21, 1934.

Feigenbaum and his son were leaving his brother and sister-in-law's house at 4510 Esplanade Ave when three gun men exited a Hudson sedan and shot at him. He received six.45 caliber bullets to his head and chest and died instantaneously. Though there were many witnesses to his assassination, Feigenbaum's killers were never caught, it was never confirmed. After serving twelve years of his fourteen-year sentence at St-Vincent-de-Paul Penitentiary, Harry Davis was released from prison in 1945. During Davis’ incarceration, the city's former edge man, Eddy ‘Kid’ Baker, had died of natural causes in July 1945, therefore the city had no edge man when Davis was released. Just out of prison, Davis assumed the title of the city's next edge man. Right after he was released, Davis re-opened his book-making and gambling parlour at 1224 Stanley Street; as the edge man Davis had the final say in all matters concerning gambling and other illegal endeavours. Before anyone could open up a gambling or book-making parlour, they would first need his approval.

All gambling and book-making parlours had to give a share of their profits to

Japanese Language Supplementary School of Houston

The Japanese Language Supplementary School of Houston is a supplementary Japanese school in Houston, Texas. Its classes are held at the Westchester Academy for International Studies, and the school office is located in the Memorial Ashford Place office building. The school, operated by the Japanese Educational Institute, is for children between ages 5 and 18 who are Japanese speakers. Many of the students are temporarily residing in the United States; the school opened in 1972. The original purpose was to give a Japanese-style supplementary education to children of businesspeople stationed in Houston for terms of three to five years, so they do not fall behind on Japanese classwork when they return to Japan; the school's first classes were held at the South Main Baptist Church. In 1974 classes moved to Tallowood Baptist Church, on August 20, 1983 another campus at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church opened. On March 25, 1986 the school moved its classes to the Westchester Education Center. In March 1989 the school had 379 students, including non-Japanese.

On May 25, 1999 the school moved its classes to Stratford High School, classes there began on May 29. On August 12, 2000, the school moved its classes back to Westchester; the school held classes for American high school students at the T. H. Rogers School. In 2015 the school had 480 students, its student population increased by 71% within the previous two-year period. The school offers grades 1 through 12 and uses the Japanese school year calendar, a trimester system beginning in April and ending in March, it teaches courses including calligraphy. It teaches social studies and mathematics. In 1989 Yuko Leibrock, the secretary, stated. On weekdays, over half of those teachers do not teach at schools; the Japanese Ministry of Education appoints the school principal. As of 1987 Houston Independent School District high school students can take courses from the Japanese school to earn high school credit. Spring Branch Independent School District students may take JEI Japanese courses on Saturdays; as of 1989 the Japanese government provided 10% of the funding, tuition and the Japanese Business Association of Houston cover the remainder of the budget.

In 1989 the tuition was determined by the age of the student and ranged from $40 to $50. History of the Japanese in Houston Japanese Language Supplementary School of Houston Japan Educational Institute Japanese Language Supplementary School of Houston