Well I did manage to get to Fergus but
wasn't feeling that well so did cut my visit short. I did however manage
to get pictures of most of the clan tents and a few crowd scenes. All
the pictures below are thumbnails so if you click on any picture you'll
get a much larger one to view. This is actually the Fergus
Scottish Festival and Highland Games to give the full title and it was
their 65th anniversary.
The above pictures are as you come into the
main ground from the back parking area. We see some young folk in the
foreground and also the tents of the Highland dancers and their
families.. And then the heavy events arena.
I first arrived at the Clan Campbell tent
and right away spotted the clan passport
And here it is. This idea came about
as a suggestion from Doug Ross who is on the board of the Scottish
Studies Foundation and the Foundation agreed to sponsor it. The idea is
that the children get presented with the passport and then they need to
visit as many clan tents as possible to get their passport stamped.
I would love to get some feedback on what both parents and children
thought of the Clan Passport idea and if any parent would like to send
me in a picture of their child with the clan passport I'd be happy to
publish it in here along with any comments they might like to make.
Should you have any thoughts on how the system might be improved please
let me know.
Talking to Doug Ross on the following Monday
he told me there were about 495 distributed on the Saturday of which 200
went to the McKiddies Centre. A dozen each went to the seventeen clans
who responded positively about having a badge-stamp (204). His wife Pat
handed out 25 to places where youngsters lined up eg for ice-cream. Clan
Wallace ran out of booklets and got another dozen. Doug himself handed
out another 40 to youngsters without passports as they passed the Clan
Ross tent. The remainder were distributed by other volunteers. None of
the 495 were left at the end of Saturday.
Doug send me in a copy of his report...
CLAN PASSPORT REPORT – August 25, 2010
The estimated costs of 100 booklets in colour was $89.50 + tax (or
approximately $102.92), compared to b/w at $45.50 + tax (or
approximately $52.33). We figured that 500 booklets with 80lb cover
stock and 12 blank sides per booklet would be ample as a preliminary
test of the idea. The actual cost on July 7 came to a total of (downpayment
$100 plus balance $157.08) $257.08 in spite of the HST of 13% and an
increase in paper costs.
Distribution of the Clan Passports
About 495 were distributed on Saturday, August 14, of which 200 went to
the McKiddies Centre (split between morning and afternoon). A dozen each
went to seventeen clans which responded positively about having rubber
stamps of badges; this accounted for 204 more booklets. Clan Wallace ran
out of booklets and got another dozen. The balance were handed out by my
wife (Patricia Ross) and I at locations where youngsters were lined up,
such as at ice-cream vendors, or along the Avenue of the Clans after
Highland Dancers had completed their competitions; other children with
parents arrived at the Clan Ross tent without Clan Passports, and
received one on-the-spot. None of the 495 booklets were left at the end
With very few exceptions, the booklets were handed to the youngsters in
the presence of their parents.
Stamping the Booklets
One young lad came to the Clan Ross tent for our stamp but, when I
checked his booklet, he had already received our stamp; he said that he
was trying to fill the booklet.
Another lad showed up on Sunday, and said that he didn’t get stamps from
the Ross, Hunter, Gunn, MacNeil and Campbell tents on Saturday . . . so
I got the stamp from the car to satisfy part of his request.
A couple of adults asked for a Clan Passport booklet; one said she was a
“wannabee” from Ohio, who wanted to know more about the clan system.
What Were the Side Benefits?
This important question was asked by Alastair McIntyre of the Electric
Scotland website after acknowledging that many booklets had been
distributed, but “Do you have any thoughts on what all this achieved?”
Carolyn McLeod-McCarthy, the senior volunteer in charge of the McKiddies
Centre, emailed the following message. “The clan passports were a big
hit with a lot of the kids and I would highly recommend we do this again
next year. I do the marketing and print ads for the festival, so I would
love to advertise this in the Children's venue schedule to grow interest
in the Avenue of the Clans and encourage the kids not only to collect
stamps, but to learn more about their heritage.”
Janette Veal of Stratford. Ontario, whose son contributed photos for the
Clan Ross website wrote, “We (the family) thought your passport idea was
brilliant. It certainly gets the young folk involved with the concept
of clans, and, of course, the adults must go along with them (a
double-edged sword?). The kids don't stop until they have entered every
last clan in the book ! I have to say that the whole children's
programme was excellent which is a must if you are to keep the families
returning each year. There were new activities as well as some old
favourites and all age ranges seem to have been covered - well done !
My interest in the Scottish Studies Foundation has been piqued - I
intend to look into it further. A trip or two to the U of G Library is
definitely on my agenda next month.”
Observations and Recommendations
My wife noted that the demand for booklets was beyond expectations. We
ran out and needed more on Saturday afternoon. Perhaps 700 Clan
Passports could have been ordered.
I would say that weather played a major role in the success of the
booklets. Any promise to provide Clan Passports should be qualified by a
statement that we reserve the right to cancel the handouts if there is
bad weather such as happened at the Fergus Scottish Festival and
Highland Games in August of 2008. A handy parking spot is key to the
security of the booklets as well.
Any Clan Passports which are retained can be used the following year.
There was a very important measure of the success of the programme. None
of the booklets were tossed on the ground. The youngsters kept the Clan
J. Douglas Ross, FSA Scot
Clan Ross were celebrating their 50th
anniversary and were the featured clan of the games. I managed a
few words with Doug Ross but while I got a wave from Pat Ross I couldn't
find her after the picture was taken.
Clan Hunter and Clan Johnston
Clan Rattray and Clan MacLennan
Clan MacLachlan and Clan Mackay
Clan MacDougall and Clan Fergusson
Clan Nisbet and Clan MacKenzie
Clan Graham and Clan Lockhart
Clan MacNicol and Clan Sinclair
Clan Stewart Society and a smartly dressed
Clan Donald and Clan Gordon
Clan Wallace all ready for the clan parade
Clan Wallace and Clan MacGregor
Clan MacLellan and Clan Barclay
Clan Leslie and Clan Stewart
And a well dressed Leslie
Clan Leslie and Clan Maxwell Society of
Clan Young and a better view of the Clan
Clan Maxwell Society of Canada and Clan
Clan McLeod and the Scottish Banner tent
Dr Graeme Morton on the right and I can't
remember the lady on the left.
This was the gathering of the clans and I've
kept these pictures to a very high resolution as if you were there you
might spot yourself in the crowd.
I might add that there was a lot more available at these
games such as Sheep Shearing, Spinning and Weaving, Hand Quilting,
Celtic Needlework, Horseshoeing, The What and How of Bagpipes, Tartans
and Plaids, Scottish Cuisine, Pottery Demonstrations and Fly Tying
Techniques. They also had a Genealogy & Education tent with lots of
lecturers. There was also a McKiddies Centre with lots of activities for
the wee ones. There are also the traditional Heavy events, Highland
Dancing, Pipe Bands and lots more to enjoy. The festival was founded in
1946 by Alex Robertson as a community wide celebration of Scottish life
and customs. Since then the festival has grown to proudly earn the title
of the oldest 3 day Scottish Festival in North America attracting over
I did see a lot of younger people at this event which
bodes well for the future.