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Fergus Highland Games, Ontario, Canada in 2005
After the Games


Since getting back from the Fergus games I've had numerous emails and a number asked me why I didn't take pictures of various things that went on at the Genealogy tent.  Well... as I didn't get a media kit I just wasn't aware that these things were going on <sigh>. I think this just goes to show that it's even more important that the directors of the event make their media kit much more widely available and not to be silly about just giving it go out to accredited media folk. There were certainly stories I'd have covered if I'd been told about them.  Mind you I've always said that marketing people have forgotten how to communicate with the general public and this is yet another example of poor communication.

I understand quite a few folk were looking for me at the Clan Ross and Clan MacIntyre tents so sorry if I missed you.  When I went to the Clan Ross tent Doug and Pat were on the parade ground and I kept missing them during the afternoon. I did visit the Clan MacIntyre tent a few times as well and they told me that folk had visited them looking for me.  I did in fact spent the whole afternoon in the clan village taking pictures and talking to folk and am certainly sorry if I missed you at the event.

Bob MacIntyre asked me if I would help look after the Clan MacIntyre tent next year and I may just do that so folk can find me next time :-)

I did take a couple of pictures of John Campbell who has looked after the clan village for some 35 years and Allen Nickels sent me in a picture of his presentation and a few words about it...

Don't know if you were told or invited to the Genealogy tent for the farewell presentation to John K. Campbell, Chairman of the Avenue of the Clans. John is stepping down as the Chairman of the clans after 35 years and all the clan members were invited to stop by and wish him all the best. We were all given a dram of whiskey to salute him and it was a nice send off.  The presentation was done shortly before the dinner took place. About 50 to 60 people stayed for the dinner.

Certainly if anyone else wants to send in some pictures I'd be happy to post them up here :-)


And here is a picture of the Clan Ross

 

Thanks to John F Ferguson, President, CFSNA for sending in the following...


Group Photo of the Fergusson Clan taken at their Banquet

The following speech was transcribed from the notes of The Honorable Ralph Ferguson, P.C. presented to me following his presentation of “A Toast to Canada” at the AGM banquet held in Guelph, ON, Canada August 12, 2005.  S. B. Ferguson

A Toast To Canada

Clan Ferguson of North America Annual Meeting in the Ramada Inn, Guelph, Ontario. August 12/05.

In view of the fact that most of us will be attending the Highland games in Fergus tomorrow, I feel that it is only fitting that I say a few words about Adam Ferguson who first came to Canada in 1831 from near Perthshire, Scotland.  He came to Canada on behalf of the Highland Society of Scotland to look over this new land.

He was a lawyer, a farmer and a businessman, who was a man of considerable means and decided that the New World would be the best place for his family to live.

Having lost his first wife in 1824, he remarried in 1833 and although he was 50 years old, they sailed for Canada with his family.

They left Liverpool on July 31st, 1833 and arrived in New York on August 27th, then went by barge up the Erie Canal to Newark, crossed the Niagara River and proceeded north to Waterdown, and in his own words found a suitable place for an abode.

From there he and a James Webster headed north to Guelph and then to what is now Fergus and took up 7000 acres of land in the area, noting that this land to the north appeared to be of better quality that that around Guelph.

He founded the Town of Fergus, constructed a mill, and various store buildings that are still in use today. 1834 saw great activity in Fergus: a grist mill, a saw mill, a school, a church and a distillery were built.  The streets were opened and by the end of the year a hardy group of Scotsmen were calling Fergus their home.

He also hired Charles Allen to build a home on the escarpment overlooking what is Hamilton Harbor.  This was a very elegant home and is still in excellent condition today.  He called it Woodhill, named after the Ferguson home on the estate near Perthshire, Scotland.

Adam Ferguson Senior devoted himself to agriculture and became a highly regarded breeder of livestock, crops and other sectors of agriculture.

His son Adam Johnson Ferguson Blair, (he took his mothers name in order to inherit her estate in Scotland) entered the political arena and was elected to the legislature assembly and to Parliament. He worked very closely with George Brown, Sir John A. MacDonald, our first Prime Minister, and Alexander MacKenzie, to bring about a United Canada. They were successful.

In the words of Lord Monk who was Governor General at that time, “Without the untiring efforts of George Brown and his followers, the Concept of Confederation would not have been feasible.”

Adam Johnson Ferguson Blair was appointed as President of the Privy Council for the new Dominion of Canada.  But he died in December 1867 shortly after that 1st session of Parliament.

Peter MacArthur a highly respected author wrote about those early pioneers: “They came to a wilderness and built a nation!”

On the cover of the book The Great Scots by Matthew Shaw it reads, “How the Scots Created Canada.”  Adam Ferguson was one of those Scots.  Several of our early explorers such as MacKenzie, Thompson and Fraser and the heads of several of our companies at the time were also Scots.  Shaw points out that thanks to the education system in Scotland’s universities (education was available to all) we had the ability to learn, unlike for example the universities that existed in England where you had to belong to the aristocracy to be admitted.  That system still exists in Canada today and has served us well.

Without men like Adam Ferguson, his family and his peers we would not have this great country we have today.

With apologies to our guests from the south and those of other ancestry, it is no wonder that we have been recently proclaimed, second only Australia, as the best country in the world to live and invest.  Clan Members I ask you to raise and drink a Toast to Canada.

N.B.  8 of the 10 Fathers of Confederation in 1867, were of Scottish descent!


Return to Fergus Games Index Page

 


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