Hundreds join Culloden event

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KNOYDART — Several hundred people witnessed and took part in the 36th annual Battle of Culloden service on Saturday. They stood for the remarks, sharing of history and laying of wreaths at the cairn located along the Northumberland Strait.

The weather was calm, cool and partly overcast in contrast to a year ago when an overnight snowstorm forced the event’s postponement to a more temperate time in June.

Bill McVicar of Antigonish, a member of the committee that organizes the event, was master of ceremonies for the gathering of Scots and Scottish supporters and dignitaries that included Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant, Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, Antigonish MLA Randy Delorey, St. Francis Xavier University president Kent MacDonald and Troy McCulloch on behalf of the St. Andrew’s Society of Pictou County all of whom laid wreaths.

Prayers were led by Bishop Brian Dunn and by Brian MacLeod, an educator who specializes in his teaching and support for the Gaelic language.

McVicar noted it was the fifth and last time Grant has attended while in office. Since the first dedication in 1982, the event has also attracted as of Saturday its first Bishop from the Diocese of Antigonish and its first St. FX president.

Fraser piped in Grant for a ceremony at the nearby Lismore hall where Grant was given a picture of the cairn, a limited edition depiction of the cairn and shoreline.

“It’s not often you get an MP to pipe you in,” Grant said, while acknowledging that the end of his term in office is approaching. “As a proud Pictonian, the Culloden service is one I particularly enjoy, and I hope to continue to attend as a private person.”

Members of the Battle of Culloden service committee presented Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant with a framed picture depicting the Battle of Culloden cairn in Knoydart. From left: Bill McVicar, Eileen MacKinnon, Shirley MacGillivray, Shannon Bouchie, Jackie MacDonald, Lt.-Gov. Grant and committee member Michael Anderson. (Goodwin photo)

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