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Grand Duke Fred Townson
809 Pacheco St
809 Pacheco St
Born in Dodge City, Ks, Fred's family being a Santa Fe Railway family, moved to the plains of New Mexico. From schooling, working, musical and drama activities, he learned early, about involvement and commitment.
He was a competitive roller skater, winning state championships, thus qualifying him to go to the North America championships.
In the 60's, Fred entered the navy, went to electronic school in San Francisco and Intelligence School in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Then being stationed aboard the carrier USS Yorktown in Long Beach, California. After several trips to the orient, his service duty finished, Fred headed back to San Francisco, in the late 60's. He has had an interesting career, from working in a men's clothier, wine wholesaler, and the hotel industry.
In the early 70's, Fred became involved in the court system in San Francisco. Under the umbrella of Tavern Guild, the Council of Empresses was formed. Which later joined with the Council of Emperors. Instead of coming twice a year, it would be one trip. At one time, there were three courts in the city, so three coronations were held.
In 1976, at the Fairmont, Empress 1 Jose, proclaimed The Council of Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses, would be a recognized court, which would be a separate organization, and have their own Board of Directors.
Fred was involved almost from the start. He ran for Grand Duke in 1978, being elected the 5th Grand Duke. From early on, his support for the SIR (Society for Individual Rights) and K.S. (Karposis Sarcoma) Those days people didn't know or talk about it.
Early 2000, Fred became a bartender at Mr. Lee-ona's, a cocktail lounge in the Tenderloin, that had a big heart. There wasn't a week-end go by without a fund-raiser both Saturday and Sunday. Good food, good shows, and raised a lot of money.
Fred has recently celebrated his 33rd year with the council. He has received special awards from the Mayor of San Francisco, out of town courts for Lifetime Honorary Emperor of Orange County, and Hawaii.
Since his involvement, the Ducal Council has grown from a handful of supporters, to one of the most recognized non-profit organization. They have fun, raising $1 at a time. In the last 5-7 years, they have given grants of more than $230,000, with the last three ICC accords, over $19,000. The 2010 saw him win the Jose' Awards, and 2012 had another Ducal winner. Both of the reigning heads of state were named great-great-great-grand children to the QM1.
In two years, Fred will celebrate his 35th year, while the organization will be celebrating their 40th anniversary, both at the start and the end of their reign. The duke is one number behind the duchess; that is why we give out our numbers at the end of their reign.
Fred has served on all positions of the board, and helped to establish a strong working foundation for the ducal court.
Until recently, he worked for the "Swords to Plowshares" at the Presidio, which is a recovery program for Vietnam Vet.
I am honored that the QM1, has extended an invitation to me to serve as an Heir Apparent. I will continue what I have done in the past. Reach out and touch, educate, and communicate. Joining this selection of fine representative group, I am very proud to be the 1st Grand Ducal member, and proud that our council is finally being recognized and represented on the ICC. What an honor!
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