MontrealDaily Star, 13 August 1900, Page 3


Caledonian Games

Great Gathering of the Clans at Queen’s Park on Saturday Afternoon

Scotch Dancing and Piping


List of events on track, field and platform – Police win tug-of-war and take Seath Trophy


“We’re a’ John Tamson’s bairns, ya ken;

And we’ll be blithe and fain thegither;

And lika man wha lo’es oor lan’

We hail him as a friend and brither”


The forty-fifth annual Scottish games of the Montreal Caledonian Society were held at the Queen’s Park ,Verdun, on Saturday afternoon, and, notwithstanding threatening skies, there was a great gathering of all the clans.  From all parts ofScotlandthey hailed, Highlanders, Islanders, Lowlanders and Borderers, together with hundreds more who had never beheld the heather hills of the old land.  Many, both old and young, were clad in the picturesque “garb of Auld Gaul” while, as on all such occasions, the pipers were out in force, and fired the patriotism of the clansmen with their stirring strains.  Then there was the sweet scented heather fresh from the Scottish hills, and free to one and all.  To the exiled Scot it was almost as good as a visit home.


Mr. JC MacDiarmid, president of the Society, delivered the opening address, in which he gave a hearty welcome to the representative ofScotlandand their friends, not forgetting the little folk.  Then the kilted dancers gathered on the platform, and, accompanied by the pipes, they went through the steps of a Scotch reel, which formally opened the programme.


Among the guests of the Society were Dr James Stewart, president of the St Andrew’s Society; Mr Robert Bickerdike, MLA, Ald Robertson, Raby and Tansey, Colonel Mattice, Mr Andrew Mackenzie, Captain Clark, Mr John Allan, Mr AN Shewan and Major Seath.  Nine past presidents of the society were also in attendance.  They were Lieut Col Fletcher and Stevenson, and Messrs William Seath, SS Bain, James Wright, James Harper, David Guthrie, John Fulton, and JM Campbell.  The first two named were president and secretary respectively, when the society was organised in 1855.


For such a gathering the Queen’s Park is an ideal place, with its unsurpassed bicycle track, and race-course, etc., while the complaint made by many old Caledonians of late years of not being able to go around




Is here remedied to a large extent.  In the ample space in the rear of the grand stand and beside the club house all those who felt so inclined roamed at will, taking in the quoiting match, enjoying a quiet “crack” about old days and otherwise putting in the time in the way most agreeable to themselves.


The old custom of ball-room dancing was also revived this year and an orchestra discoursed sweet music in one of the large rooms of the club house during the greater part of the afternoon.  Large numbers took part.  Mr JA McDougall here acted as master of ceremonies.


The field day was a great success in every way.  Never before had a better programme, with more handsome and costly prizes, been provided by the Caledonian Society.  The judges were all competent men who understood their duties perfectly and rendered their decisions in a fair and impartial manner.


The platform competitions were of a high and excellent character, and included all the well known features of a Scottish gathering, such as bagpipe competitions, Highland fling, Shean trews, ghillie callum, Scotch reel, etc.  Old and young took part and competition was keen; consequently every event was followed with intense interest.  The dancing of the different contestants, especially the little ones, drew forth rounds of applause from the grand stand.  Much gratification was expressed by veteran Caledonians that this, the purely Scottish side of the sports, had been so well looked after for this occasion.  The field and track sports were also hotly contested and the winner of every event well earned




The amateur events were ahead of anything ever offered by the society, and the many competitors apparently appreciated this fact to the full.  Exciting and close finishes were the order of the day.


The most exciting event of the afternoon was the tug-of-war between teams of twelve men representing the Police and Fire Departments.  Captain Lafleur commanded the policemen and Captain Doolan the firemen.  The contest proved to be an exceedingly stubborn one but was finally won by the policement.  This result was very far from being a popular one and the grand stand gave the defeated firemen a great cheering as they marched off the field.  It was the victory of the vanquished.


Great interest was also take in the association football match between teams representing the Strathcona and PAAA clubs.  This resulted in a victory for the PAAA men by a score of four goals to one.


The teams were:

Strathcona                                                                   PAAA

Denman                                   Goal                            Duffy

Healy                                       Back                            Burchmore

Brown                                     Back                            Kernley

Messer                                     Half Back                    Roach

Carpenter                                Half Back                   Duncan

Coull                                       Forward                      Bird

Stewart                                    Forward                      McQueston

Anderson                                Forward                      Porter

Gillard                                     Forward                      Hanson

Douglas                                   Forward                      Lidgate

Shirref                                     Forward                      Strike


Referee- W Lawrence


At the conclusion of the Highland dancing in which Mr William Johnson of Toronto, captured the Leitch Cup by one point from Mr Fred Ridell of Montreal, and while preparations were being made to adjourn to the club house, where the sailor’s hornpipe competition was decided, President MacDiarmid introduced Dr James Stewart of the St Andrew’s Society, who awarded the Seath Trophy to Captain Lafleur as the property of the police in the tug-of-war.  Captain Lafleur, when called on for a speech replied in French, saying that he and his men were proud of the fact that they had won the cup against such a strong team as Captain Doolan’s.  Captain Clark, of No 15 station, responded in English for the police. 


It is a noteworthy fact that never during the whole of the society’s existence of forty five years have the annual games had to be postponed on account of unfavourable weather.  In fixing their date the Scots just trusted inProvidenceandProvidencewas kind.