Venture Scouts Visit From Menstrie, Scotland
Gavin Hay and Gordon Sponagle, Venture Scouts in Menstrie, Scotland, came to Nova Scotia in August, 1993 to fulfill two requirements of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award: a hike/canoe/bike expedition over 50 miles with other Scouts, and research of historical links between Menstrie and Nova Scotia.
They were sponsored by the Provincial Scout Office and Kings District, and hosted by Commissioner David Cameron (Past President of The Clan Cameron Society of Nova Scotia, Laurie Alders, and First Centerville Venturer Company.
Gavin and Gordon biked, hiked and camped in western Nova Scotia, completing expedition requirements in Kejimkujik Park. They gave enjoyable slide presentations and talks about Menstrie Castle to enthusiastic parents, Venturers and community folk.
They explored the Habitation and Fort Ann at Port Royal, and took pictures of the cairn, the Original Charter and Sir William Alexander information there.
In Pictou, "Birthplace of New Scotland," they read pertinent books and visited the Hector Quay exhibit and replica of ship Hector which brought the first Highland emigrants in 1773.
At the Hector Centre, they viewed a replica of the "Wall of the Baronets" on display in the Nova Scotia Commemoration Room in Menstrie Castle. This wall displays shields of 109 Baronets of Nova Scotia.
(In July 1973, seven Baronets of Nova Scotia had attended the Hector bicentennial celebrations there.)
In Halifax they researched links with Menstrie at Public Archives, then visited the Victoria Park cairn. They met with MLA George Archibald and Speaker of the House at Government House.
Impressed with our weather, Gavin and Gordon often commented "It's brilliant!" Hon. T. G. D. Galbraith, Parliamentary Secretary of State for Scotland, noted: "If Menstrie castle had to go, it could not have gone to a more beautiful or appropriate place, but I am glad that it has been left standing where it has stood, impregnable, for four centuries."
Copyright (1993) Janet MacKay
Published: "Fifty Plus" November, 1993