Thompson, President of the Caledonian Society of
Restigouche, is passionate about promoting Scottish culture
in Northern New Brunswick. His most recent undertaking is to
launch a fund-raising campaign to erect a monument in memory
of the original Scottish settlers to the region.
In researching his ancestors Mr. Thompson has discovered
that a large number of settlers arrived in the region as a
result of the Arran Clearances of 1829-1840. This was an
expulsion of Scottish farmers from the Isle of Arran in
Scotland. The Duke of Hamilton merged their smaller farms to
create larger units and displaced many families. They came
to Canada in boatloads, the largest group of more than 400
landing in Dalhousie, NB to be pioneer settlers of the
Restigouche- Bay Chaleur District.
Monuments marking the experiences of such displaced peoples
have been erected elsewhere, such as in Megantic County,
Quebec, and Lamlash on the Isle of Arran, Scotland (raised
in 1977 with the help of the Caledonian Society of
Restigouche). In 2007 a sculpture called The Emigrants was
forged in Helmsdale, Sutherland, Scotland and duplicated in
Winnigpeg, Manitoba in honour of similar Highland
Mr. Thompson has contacted the Scottish foundry who cast the
two Emigrant monuments, Black Isle Bronze, with the hopes of
having a reproduction made to be erected in Campbellton.
Anyone interested in supporting this venture is invited to
contact James at (506) 789-1586 or email
Scottish Clearance Monument
The monument uses the most
universally recognized Scottish National symbol, the St.
Andrews cross as the predominate shape of the work. This
cross can be seen from both sides of the monument for miles
away. The Cross should be created in a stainless steel .
This will capture light and reflect light and make for a
brilliant beacon on the water’s edge. This will be the
largest Scottish Cross in Canada.
The monument has two sides and
is like two sculptures, the one side will show the Scottish
people coming off the ship into the new world, the other
shows the empty Scottish landscape, now void of all people
that they left.
The figures coming off the ship
will give the viewer a sense of the historical event. Unlike
most monuments that show one or two figures representing
hundreds, this monument will have approximately 400 figures
worked within the piece. With this number of figures, the
epic sense of the event is instantly visually revealed. Also
the opportunity to tell 400 different stories within the
expressions of the faces. I will create fearless young men,
tire old men, children crying, pregnant women, bag pipers,
sad girls already missing their homeland, etc.; all with
authentic garb and gestures and expressions that will
reflect the historic event with authenticity. The other side
will show the still landscape of the home that was left
behind, which to this day is sparse with people. The bottom
space provided by the St. Andrews Cross will act as a
triangular shape doorway in a sense that will lead back to
the area in Scotland. It will be a beautiful empty landscape
with the stone where houses used to be, heavy clouds, a few
sheep , a landscape that will give a sense of loss and
Both the landscape and the
figures will be created out of bronze, the only permanent
material that can capture all the detail. The figures at the
bottom of the monument should be at life-size.
This monument will indeed become
a tourist destination.