Clan Maxwell Society
On Friday August 12, 2005 – the Festival & Games commenced - 3pm to midnight.
Such excitement and enthusiasm filled the air by children and adults! Good Parking.
The gates opened at 3pm for browsing through the many aisles of vendors.
The shrill of bagpipes attracted the crowds toward the main field.
The Tattoo started at 7:00pm featuring Tony McManus “the finest guitarist Scotland ever produced”. At 8:00pm the Pipes and Drums of the 48th Highlanders, the Band of the Royal Regiment of Canada, the Canadian Forces National Band of the Naval Reserve, and the Highland Dancers, performed, plus Guest appearance of Tom Leadbeater from Nova Scotia. A moving tribute was made to John Allan Cameron, Chieftain of the Fergus Festival & Games, who is seriously ill. Then a catch -your-breath fireworks display! The evening ended with Clans and Candle Lighting.
On Saturday, August 13, 2005 the grounds opened at 7:00am for Clan tent set up. The Kinsmen Tartan Breakfast – pancakes, sausages, toast, scones, coffee was available for $5.00pp and served by volunteers in the (under-construction) arena.
The grounds “hummed” with the noise of people rushing to the various events of Pipe Band Competition, Highland Dance Competition, World’s Scottish Athletic Heavy Events ; Tribute to Canadian Celtic music; Scottish Swordsmen and Storytellers; Featured author – Diana Gabaldon’s lectures and book signing of her Outlander Series -which proved to be very popular; bounteous choices of Scottish foods, Tea Garden for music and tea; many crowded the Sleeman Highland Pub.
The Opening Ceremonies at 12noon, in main field, included Clan Gathering Parade - featuring Clan Stewart and Clan Hunter as honoured Clans for 2005, with Highland Dancers and Massed Bands. (Doug, Muriel, Peter and Sidney were only Maxwells.)
Following the greetings from the dignitaries, Tribute was made to John Campbell on his retirement as Chair of Clans, and another teary Tribute was made to retiring Chieftain John Allen Cameron, as his son who was announced as the new Chieftain - officially declared the 60th Annual Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games open!
There was a great sense of comraderie in the Avenue of Clans. Doug and Muriel with the help of their son Peter Maxwell and his daughter, Sidney, welcomed the Scots and friends at Clan Maxwell tent. It was a hot day! Lots of cold water served.
Forty people signed the Guest Book. Many others searched for their Scottish roots, etc. We enjoyed sharing information and watching pride in their heritage grow as they looked at the books, maps and other resource materials. One t-shirt ($25.00) was sold to a person -to take home to a Maxwell friend in USA. Two laminated prints of Clan Maxwell ($5.00 ea.) were sold. Many asked for inexpensive souvenirs of Clan Maxwell. (Suggest inexpensive items with sticker label of Clan Maxwell including address be considered for future.) No new memberships or renewals received.
At 5:00pm (Sat. Aug. 13, 2005) the Clans gathered at the Stage of Genealogy Tent for light refreshments and an Appreciation Presentation to John Campbell, Chair of Clans at Fergus Festival & Games - for many, many years of faithful service.. John was totally surprised – actually in a state of shock. Joanne Marshall (Clan Keith) and others made several gift presenttions. John was thrilled with all the gifts, but the two bottles of 15 & 18 yr. old Whisky caused the eyes to brim with tears.
There was an opportunity for all to pass by, shake hands and extend sincere thanks and best wishes to John. Many photos were taken. The crowd dispersed back to close their tents. The day at the Avenue of Clans ended. A Clan Dinner, chaired by John Campbell, followed immediately at 6pm. We were unable to attend due to previous commitment.
Many digital pictures have already been received from Joanne and others. Several other digital pictures were taken. Will be forwarded as soon as available.
Respectfully submitted by Doug and Muriel Maxwell, Clan Maxwell Tent, 60th Annual Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games.