Montreal Gazette, 3 November 1919, page 11
Caledonian Sc’y Annual Concert
Program was one of the finest and most successful
There was a great gathering of the clans at the Windsor Hall on Saturday night, when the Caledonian Society of Montreal held its 64th Annual Hallowe’en Concert, Scots from the hills of Auld Scotia and Scottish-Canadians of the second, third and fourth generations were alike enthusiastic in their celebration of one of the great traditional festivals of the land of the heather.
Bagpipes skirled, tartans fluttered, dancers “lap and flang” the fiddle “thirled the heart-strings,” and singers thundered out the defiant old war songs of Highlands and Lowlands. It was a “braw Scotch nicht” and many old timers declared the concert to be the best ever given by the Caledonian Society.
James A Greig, president of the society, was chairman, and others were present, as guests of the Caledonians, representatives of the St George’s, St David’s Welsh, St Patrick’s and the Irish Protestant Benevolent societies. A message from Admiral Halsey, on behalf of the Prince of Wales was read, regretting that a previous engagement prevented His Royal Highness from being present.
Those who supplied the program were: Soprano Mrs Harold Mills; contralto Miss Very McLean; tenor James Elcho Fiddes; baritone Ruthven MacDonald; violinist Miss Ruth Pryce; elocutionist TH Alston; Highland dancer William Rae; the Glengarry Pipe Band; the Caledonian Juvenile Dancers; accompanist JH Shearer ARCM, ARCO.
In the first part, the Glengarry Pipe Band, under Major JA Stewart, led off with a great blast, and the Caledonian Juvenile Dancers, Misses Wilhemina Carmichael, Violet Arnott, and Masters Robert Baxter and Geo Rae, executed a Scotch reel in admirable style. Ruthven MacDonald sang the old war song. “The Standard on the Braes O’Mar” and had to come back, when he gave “I’ve a Lass Amang the Heather,” a song of the Scottish soldier of today, Miss Pryce pleased with a violin solo – (a) “Melodrame de Piccolina” and (b) “Rondino”. Mrs Mills sang “My ain wee hoose” and as an encore gave Burns’s song about himself, “There was a lad was born in Kyle.” Mr Alston recited “the Whustle o’ Randy McGraw,” a war piece, and as an encore gave another, “ A lay of Neuve Chapelle”. Miss Very McLean gave a splendid rendering of “O sing tae me the Auld Scots Bangs” and was equally effective with her encore “Annie Laurie”. Mr Rae danced the Ghillie Callum in the real old way. Mr Fidden, in Highland dress, captured the house with “Macgregor’s Gathering,” and responded with a Burns gem not often heard here, “The lad a Ballochmyle.”
In the second part, the Glengarry Pipe Band led off again. Mr MacDonald triumphed with “Scotland Yet,” and as an encore he and Mrs Millie gave a fine interpretation of “The Crookeit Bawbee.” Miss Bryce’s violin solo, (a) “A Scotch Melodie” (b) Tambourin Chinois,” was so good that she was called back, and made her fiddle speak in that wonderful old melody of the Scottish borderland, “The flowers o’ the forest.” Mrs M[illegible] sant Burns’s humorous old love song, “O whustle an’ I’ll come tae ye my lad” with true richness. In a humorous recitation of Scottish village life, “the deputation” Mr Alston made the house rock with laughter. Miss Mclean, this time in Highland dress, triumphed with Lady Nairne’s war song, “W’a hundred pipers,” and the encore was a real treat – Miss McLean and Mr Fiddes in “Huntingtower,” or “When ye gang awa, Jamie.” Mr Fiddes” last song was “The Battle of Stirling” and it thrilled. Mr Rae danced the Sailor’s Hornpipe in fine style. “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the King” and a splendid selection by the Glengarry Pipe Band brought the entertainment to a close.