The insignia for the Order of the same name. The origin of the parakeet is one of the fundamental story in the shaping of the Order. The founder, R.M.M. Swigberry-Smythe II, is known to be descended from several families (the name Swigberry is an interesting story, but beyond the scope of this text). The most influential to the shaping of the Order is undoubtedly the Montagues, particularly Giambattista Montague. He was an eccentric Italian merchant/explorer in the 18th century who enjoyed collecting all manner of things from the countires he traveled to (his entire collection is thought to have been large enough to fill over half of the British Museum!) He also had several hundred acres of land, on which he kept all manner of animals, mostly birds. His favourite of all was a parakeet named Zipporah. Zipporah (or Old Zippy as he is known to Order members) was an extremly intelligent bird, who could perfrom all manner of tricks, even doing simple maths! When Zippy died age 68, Montague commissioned a statue of Zippy to be carved in alabaster as a centrepiece for his formal garden. Swigberry-Smythe was so moved my this story, he decided to create a group where eccentric upper-class like himself could meet and share interests, in memory of his ancestor and his beloved bird. And so, on September the 19th, 1915, he and 50 others from around the world met at his mansion in the first gathering of The Order of The Alabaster Parakeet. The rest, as they say, is history.
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