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A Highlander and his Books
Old Games in New Scotland


Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Dawsonville, GA, USA, Email: jurascot@earthlink.net

Tucked away among a shrine of trees just outside Greenville, SC is Furman University, one of the most beautiful settings in America. The James B. Duke Library sits majestically as a center of focus for the 2,600 students on campus. DebbieLee Landi is Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist. She came to Furman after stints at the University of Missouri and the University of Mississippi. In my role as a university trustee, I have had opportunity to work with DebbieLee and am very aware that dedicated members of the university staff like her make Furman a special place.

DebbieLee is more than just a dedicated employee at a great university. She is my friend! I am proud to welcome her to this website. (FRS: 4.14.09)

Old Games in New Scotland
By DebbieLee Landi

As early as 1621, a Scottish nobleman, Sir William Alexander, established a settlement in Port Royal, Nova Scotia near the Bay of Fundy.   Although this settlement did not last and control of Nova Scotia alternated between France and England for almost one hundred years, one of the Treaties of Utrecht finally transferred Nova Scotia to England in 1713.  More than seventy years elapsed before Scottish highlanders permanently settled in northeastern Nova Scotia and today’s Antigonish County.  These immigrants arrived speaking Gaelic, transporting their  storytelling traditions, fiddling, piping and dance traditions as well as their devotion to the games of the Highlands. 

The townspeople of Antigonish, the Highland Heart of Nova Scotia, met on August 22, 1861 to authorize the creation of a Highland Society.  According to the members of the Antigonish Highland Society, the mission of the society would be “to protect and perpetuate the language, customs, music and games of the Highlands.”   On October 16, 1863, this Society held its first Highland Games. We were fortunate to attend the 145th Antigonish Highland Games on July 19, 2008, Clan Day.  The photographs which follow capture only a few of the many activities and unfortunately, do not adequately convey the exhilaration of the participants and the ardor of the spectators.

DebbieLee Landi

All photographs courtesy of Ryan K. Lazar

Sources: 145th Antigonish Highland Games Program Guide; Encyclopedia of Canada’s Peoples; The Casket, Antigonish’s community newspaper and www.antigonishhighlandgames.com

 

 

 


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