The sixth of April is designated as Tartan Day in PEI and was celebrated in style this year by the Belfast Historical Society.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church on the Garfield Road in Belfast entertained a great crowd of lovers of all things Scots with various bits and swaths of tartan seen on audience members and performers alike.
The old timbers of the ancient church reflected the sounds of guitars, pipes and drums and here is a pictorial diary of the event.
A lovely evening to celebrate Tartan Day
Victoria Sweet practiced a bit before the program started. She is an accomplished musical artist, playing the keyboard, flute, small pipes and Celtic low whistle. Her husband, Graham, accompanied her with vocals and guitar.
The evening got off to a rousing start, led by the Belfast Pipe and Drum.
Ian MacPherson was the MC for the evening and here, pictured, is Donald MacDonald, a director of the BHS as he introduces Patricia Murray. A swath of Royal Stewart dress tartan adorns the wall behind him.
The concert was dedicated to the late Stanley Bruce who was instrumental, politically, in getting legislative approval for Tartan Day in 1992. PEI was the second province to recognize the date, it being initiated in NS. It is now celebrated across Canada. He is pictured on the right in the picture with the banner in his Bruce tartan from last year’s concert. His wife, Anne, was presented with a bouquet of flowers.
Patricia Murray, an Islander living now in Moncton, is a celebrated Celtic performer and was accompanied by well-known Island musician Frances McBurnie.
The Sweets, Victoria and Graham, then performed some well-loved Scots’ melodies.
The audience consisted of some well-known and loved Islanders. In the forefront is Hazel Davies, President of the BHS. It warmed our hearts having her there after the health issues she has overcome since last summer.
Mary MacGillivary followed, accompanied by Ben Reid and Robin Brooks.
Darlene Compton, of the BHS, then presented the Selkirk Award to Margaret Ross MacKinnon for her dedication to all things Scottish.
Margaret Ross MacKinnon with the Selkirk Award.
Rob MacLean, son of J. Angus MacLean, performed the Scottish poem titled the Immigration of the Islanders by Malcolm Ban Buchanan. It tells of the Scots leaving Scotland for the New World,. The poem includes actual sailing instructions for leaving the Isle of Skye.
The entertainment ended as it had begun, with the Belfast Pipe and Drum. Refreshments were served in the church basement, allowing performers to mingle with the public for conversation and reminiscences.
The Selkirk Award.
Margaret Ross MacKinnon and Donald MacDonald under the Lion Rampant with the Selkirk Award.