Highland dancers award winners: Elizabeth Matulina and Kaela Vespa
Scottish Athlete of the Year: Chris Johnstone
Scottish Cuisine: Burgundy Lion (Jean-Michel Creusot, Paul Desbaillets and Louis-Philippe Camerlain)
Scottish Cultural Activities: Angela Yeo-West
Gordon Atkinson Memorial Prize winner: Sam Allison
Award for Piping winner: Pipe Major Bolton
Fellows: Scot Diamond, Chris Johnstone, Deborah Johnstone and Janice Stephenson
Scotsman of the Year Award: Ian Aitken
Scottish Athlete – Chris Johnstone Chris Johnstone’s athletic interests were generally restricted to high school sports and hockey while he was growing up, but at the same time he was exposed to the Athletes at the Montreal Highland Games since his earliest years. In fact, Debbie mentioned that he was around the athletes as soon as he realized he could avoid being hit by flying objects. Moving around cabars, hammers, and sheaves and meeting all those brute looking Scottish athletes interested him in the Scottish sports – so-much-so that he is now and has been for a number of years the principle organizer of the Athletic events at the games. He jokes of how the huge and brute looking athletes are actually quite docile to work with! Chris has taken on this highly specialized function on the games committee, where he is also a Vice-President, and is our expert. Although Chris’ athletic prowess may not be press worthy, his organizational skills for this event makes him well deserving of this Scottish Athlete of the year award. We are proud to recognize Chris Johnstone with the Scottish Athlete of the year award.
Scottish Cuisine – Burgundy Lion (Jean-Michel Creusot, Paul Desbaillets and Louis-Philippe Camerlain) Since their opening in the summer of 2008, the Burgundy Lion has been a fixture of the Montreal Pub scene and a leader in the rebirth in their area of Little Burgundy – conveniently located across from Joe Beef, owned by a proud Scot Dave McMillian. The Burgundy Lion have amassed an impressive selection of over 400 whiskies, the largest collection in Quebec and one of the largest in North America. Offering Scottish fare as blood pudding and scotch eggs for breakfast, bangers and mash and Scotch meat pies for lunch and dinner. In addition to the Burgundy Lion, the owners have created a British fare empire in Montreal that includes Brit & Chips, Bishop & Bagg and Newland & Jump. We are proud to recognize the Burgundy Lion with the Scottish Cuisine Award.
Scottish Cultural Activities – Angela Yeo-West Angela has supported the Scottish community in Montreal for a large number of years thru her creative writing and her artwork. She has been an active member of the Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society of Montreal for over 25 years and has lent her creative talent in many ways: dancing, choreography, costume designing, poetry writing and portrait painting. Some of her poems and illustrations have been published in the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal’s Journal and she was invited to recite of her poems at the University Club in Montreal. Angela spends her time designing greeting cards, pictures, and yearly calendars all with a Scottish theme illustrating bag pipers, highland dancers, Scottish Castles etc. Presently she is working on portrait of an illustrious member of the Scottish community in Montreal who shall be nameless until the unveiling of the portrait. She has written and illustrated a children’s book which is waiting to be published. We are proud to recognize Angela Yeo-West with the Scottish Cultural Activities Award
Gordon Atkinson Memorial Prize – Sam Allison Sam is the author of Drv’nby Fortune: The Scots’ March to Modernity in America 1745-1812 published by Dundurn Press in November of 2015. (Joke about book being sold and signed copy)
Born in Glasgow Scotland, Sam graduated from the London School of Economics, immigrated to Montreal in 1968, and obtained an MA from McGill.
While teaching high school history and economics, he served on many Quebec Ministry of Education Committees involving provincial examinations, textbook evaluations, and curriculum production. After retiring from high school teaching, he became an Adjunct Professor of Education at McGill and Vice Chairperson and Cofounder of the Jeanie Johnston Educational Foundation. He has also authored many educational books, articles, and websites ranging from The Life and Times of William Shakespeare to Discovering Quebec’s Parliamentary Institutions. His interest in military history began with a timeline for students outlining the Battles for a Border between the United States and Canada from the 17th century to the present. This led him to focus on the most important battle of all, the struggle on the Plains of Abraham in which the 78th Fraser’s Highlanders played such a pivotal role. Over a decade and several countries later, his most ambitious book was finished. Married with two adult children, Sam lives on the wrong side of the Champlain Bridge in Brossard. We are proud to recognize Sam Allison with the Gordon Atkinson Memorial Award for Highland Military Research
Black Watch of Canada Foundation Special Award for Piping – Pipe Major Bolton Pipe-Major Bruce Bolton comes from a long Black Watch family tradition. On his 10th birthday he was “ordered” by his mother to start learning bagpipes and although he resisted has never looked back on the “order”. His teachers were World War II veterans - tough at the corps. He joined cadets, attended summer camps in Farnham Quebec and Banff Alberta and became Cadet Pipe-Major, leading the largest cadet pipe band in history with 19 pipers. The band won Grade 3 contests in the Ontario circuit and earned the Champion Supreme designation. Bruce then joined the Regimental band as Pipe-Major from 1974 to 1978, again with a large band. There was a short interlude when he became Regimental Sergeant-Major before returning to Pipe-Majorship from 1980 to 1983 and before becoming an officer. Although he “hung up” his pipes, he always took a keen interest in piping and the pipe-bands. He was a founding member, the only one left, of the Montreal Highland Games and continued encouraging piping and drumming through his professional career with the 78th Fraser Highlanders and the Stewart Museum. On retirement as Commanding Officer of the Black Watch, Bruce returned to piping by becoming an instructor and member of the BW Association Pipe Band. Pipe-Major Bolton is a legacy in the Montreal piping community, having taught a huge number of young pipers and being a leader of pipers and drummers for more than 50 years. He is most deserving of this long overdue award - The Black Watch of Canada Foundation award for Piping.
Fellows Scot Diamond: G. Scot Diamond was lured into the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal by a fellow lawyer to assume the appointment as Honorary Solicitor. He was quickly elected to Council in 2000 and undertook the re-organization of the Annual Burns’ Night, moving the event to the University Club where it is still held and putting it on a sure financial footing. He moved through the Society’s progression system becoming 2nd Vice-President for 2 years, then 1st Vice-President and Ball Chairman for two years and then President for 2 years from 2013-15. During his term as President Scot was involved in the re-establishment of the Montreal Highland Games and the move of the Quebec Thistle Council to becoming a committee of the St. Andrew’s Society. He also encouraged the establishment of the Chair in Canadian Scottish Studies at McGill University. As past president he has two years as honorary ball chairman. This disengagement from the St Andrew’s Society process hasn’t stopped Scot. He is now a key player for the Highland Games providing his legal skills with contracts and permits, liaison with the City of Verdun, organizing all the rentals and even putting up himself many of the hundred fences around the site. Scot is a valued member of the team and most deserving to be named a Fellow of the Quebec Thistle Committee.
Chris Johnstone: We have already heard of Chris’ contribution to the athletic portions of the Highland Games but Chris has always been modest on his other contributions to Montreal’s Scottish Community. Having grown up a son of Kirk Johnstone, he was destined to learn bagpipes, from his father – the teacher. Chris was a piper in the 306 Air Force Pipe Band and even tried his hand at playing the bass drum. He paraded with the 78th Fraser Highlanders and now has his 3 children learning to Highland Dance and compete. Please welcome Chris Johnstone as a Fellow of the Quebec Thistle committee.
Deborah Johnstone: Debbie Johnstone is one of those unsung heroes of the Scottish Community of Montreal. She always seemed to be in the shadow of Kirk but she has a long and involved history in the Community. She joined the St-Laurent Pipe Band in the 1960s and learned bagpipes from, quess who, Kirk. We know this lead to marriage and 5 children. She became every involved with the Montreal Highland Dancing Association when her daughter Wendy started dancing in the early 1980s and since then has been a key player in the registration of dancers for competitions – a task she undertakes even now for the Montreal Highland Games. When she started fixing her daughters kilt Debbie gained a reputation that led her to become a kilt maker, one of the very few in Montreal. Debbie also played for the Clan Sutherland Pipe Band and the 306 Wing Air Force Band. All of her 5 children have grown up around the highland games. In addition to Wendy and Chris, son Tim was a piper who played Oigilvy’s and Vicky who was also a highland dancer. Debbie is a Vice-President of the Montreal Highland Games Society. Debbie Johnstone, for her contribution to the Scottish Community of Montreal and to the future of the community – is most deserving of being named a Fellow of the Quebec Thistle Committee.
Scotsman of the Year Ian Aitken: Ian Aitken was born in Montreal in 1964. After attending Selwyn House School and Marianopolis College, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Business Administration from Western University in 1987 and a Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1990. Ian Aitken has been a solid supporter of the Scottish Community in Montreal for decades. Serving on Council of the St. Andrew’s Society and then as its President, Ian quietly yet in a businesslike manner introduced new methods to running the Society while at the same time passionately promoting everything the Society did. He was instrumental in reviving the Montreal Highland Games in 2014 and remains a generous supporter both personally and through his company – Pembroke Management, where he is the President and Chief Executive Officer. He is an organizer of the Alex Hutchison Award for piping, an Honorary Member of the Black Watch Pipes and Drums, a member of the committee establishing the McGill Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies and a Patron of the National Trust for Scotland. He also has the unique designation of “Keeper of the Quaichs” for the Society. Ian was recognized for his contribution in 2012 when he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In addition to his commitment to the Scottish community, Ian is devoted to building a more entrepreneurial country and is the Founder and Chairman of Enactus Canada and a Director of the John Dobson Foundation. . He is also a Director of the Bhutan Canada Foundation, a Trustee of The Veritas Fund, a member of World Presidents’ Organization and the Honorary Treasurer of the Mount Royal Club. Ian spent many summers in the Highlands of Scotland as a child and has been one of Montreal’s links to the old country. He has danced at the Royal Caledonian Ball, been invited to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and facilitated the invitation of many of the Guests of Honour to the St. Andrew’s Ball. In his spare time, Ian enjoys skiing, cycling, travel and photography. He considers himself to be very fortunate to be married to Mary Leslie Ian is dedicated to his family. He was married in a kilt and his three children, aged 16, 13 and 10, have each been the Page or Flower Girl at the Ball. Ian’s passionate commitment to promoting the Scottish community and preserving its legacy over decades, in many ways, makes him a model “Scotsman of the Year”.
Athlete of the Year: Ian Baillie
Cuisine: Craig Sweeney
Cultural Activities: Moira Barclay-Fernie, Suni Hope-Johnston
Highland Dancing: Anne Lagace, Marie-Eve Valiquette, Betty Chapman
Fellows: Janice Stephenson, L/Col. Bruno Plourde
Special Award for Piping: Pipe-Major Josh Lord
Scotswoman: May Cook
Gordon Atkinson Memorial Prize in Highland Military History: Capt. R. Paul Goodman
SCOTTISH CUISINE 29 year old Craig Sweeney was born near Glasgow, in the town of Motherwell, and had already lived a jam packed life before settling in Montreal just more than a year ago. He learned his Scottish recipes with his mother and worked locally for 5 years before becoming an English teacher in Kuwait where he met his Canadian (West Island) wife to be, Christina, who was also teaching there. Craig arrived in Canada via Vietnam and New Zealand, where the idea of a Scottish meat pie service in Montreal was hatched, while driving a camper van. They called it Vive L’Ecosse!
Craig is a butcher and all round chef, specializing in meat pies, bridies, and haggis - all based on meat and pastry. He wants to stay in Montreal and learn French but finds it hard to take lessons while working 7 days a week. Let’s all encourage Craig to become our Bridies and Haggis laird in Montreal. CULTURAL ACTIVITIES This award posed a difficult choice this year with outstanding nominations. However, the Cultural Activities Award this year is being presented jointly to Moira Barclay-Fernie and Suni Hope-Johnson for their embroidery skills, almost undiscovered until a few months ago. In anticipation of Homecoming Scotland 2014, the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal was asked to contribute a panel to the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry telling the story of those who left Scotland to play an immeasurable role in making the modern world. Ours was to join the other 300 panels literally from around the world where Scots had left their mark. Our panel shows the role that Scots played in turning Montreal in to a business and cultural hub during the 19th and 20th centuries. It also demonstrated the profound effect that the Scots had in forming our national character and history. The Montreal panel includes seminal moments from our collective history, including representations of the auld alliance between France and Scotland; the first Protestant service at the fabled “fur trader’s church”; the formation of the Bank of Montreal, Canada’s first financial institution; a beaver, as a symbol of the fur trade that drew many prosperous Scots to the new world, including James McGill, founder of McGill University. The list goes on. Moira Barclay-Fernie and Suni Hope-Johnson, both members of the St Andrew’s Society, have tirelessly embroidered the history of Scots in Montreal, one stitch at a time. For their dedicated work of putting Montreal on the world scene through this tapestry we are pleased to award Moira Barclay-Fernie and Suny Hope Johnston the QTC award for Cultural Activities for 2015.
Gordon Atkinson Award for Highland Military Research Capt Paul Goodman has been an avid collector of military books and documents for most of his life, so much so that after his high school history teaching career he assembled one of North America’s finest 18th century British military libraries. Paul turned his interest into one of America’s best known dealers from his home on Ile Perrot. He is particularly proud of his home which is located where General Amherst’s army camped before taking Montreal in September 1760. His particular expertise is understanding the 1747 Battle of Laffeldt but it extends to his membership as a Captain in the 78th Fraser Highlanders where he is second in command. With his fellow winner of this award, Earl Chapman, Paul has helped with the publication of a number of leading edge research papers on the Seven Years’ War period, fought by the 78th Frasers. Recently Paul and Earl authored an academic paper on the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham which was published in the highly regarded Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research in England. They provided evidence that proved that the British fought in 3 ranks and not the 2 ranks (the thin red line) which has come down through history. Their article has received praise from all quarters - so today we are proud to present the Gordon Atkinson Award for Highland Military Research to Capt. Paul Goodman.
THE BLACK WATCH OF CANADA FOUNDATION SPECIAL AWARD FOR PIPING Josh Lord is a son of the Eastern Townships.
Born in just outside of Lennoxville, Josh began is piping career in 1996 with the Eastern Townships Highland Pipe band. Originally starting as a snare drummer, Josh quickly saw the error of his ways and picked up the Highland Bagpipes.
Josh is a natural musician – he hears music and intuitively understands it on a level far beyond most of his peers. At the age of 19 he partnered with a group of local musicians to form Farler’s Fury, a “celtic punk band” that prominently features Josh’s piping. From humble beginnings Farler’s has become well known: They’ve produced two full length albums, 2 EPs, and one split album. They’ve also trafficked their brand of celtic music across the world, completing six Canadian tours, two American tours, and two international tours.
Altogether, Josh has played his bagpipes in thirteen countries.
In 2003 Josh became a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders at the Stewart Museum. He travelled with the Frasers to Scotland in 2004, where they piped for HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Although he is best remembered in the pubs of Glasgow and Inverness, where he sharpened his skills as a kitchen piper: a type of traditional piping that involves fast fingers, jazzy blue notes, and other virtuosic feats of musical prowess that many good players dare not attempt.
Josh continued his career with the Frasers, and was appointed Pipe Major in 2008.
Through his time in Montreal he’s played with the Montreal Pipes and Drums, the now defunct St. James United Pipe band, and, most recently, the Black Watch Association Pipes and drums. Josh has also enjoyed a successful solo piping career, having won gold and silver medals and the Almonte and Loon Mountain Highland games.
Among his peers he is knowing as a “piper’s piper.” A much talented musician who lends great credit to the instrument whenever and wherever he plays. Despite his reserved demeanor, Josh is a musical leader in our community, and he commands the kind of admiration and respect that comes with being a truly unique talent.
It is with great pleasure that I present this year’s piping award to Pipe Major Josh Lord.
about the qtc
The Quebec Thistle Committee is dedicated to bringing together the Scottish community of Quebec through its programs and we ask for your support in keeping Scots and Scottish Culture an essential part of Quebec society, as it has been for centuries.