The Antigonish Highland Games Hall of Fame will welcome 12 inductees this summer.
“We have an incredible group,” Danny Gillis said of the Class of 2019.
Six of the inductees come from the rich athletics history of the Games, while two Highland dancers, two pipers and one drummer are part of the illustrious group.
Ten inductees are Antigonish natives.
The Antigonish Highland Society launched the Hall of Fame in 2013, a legacy project created to mark the Games’ 150th anniversary.
“We are playing catch up,” Gillis explained of the effort to honour the countless contributors to the Games over its rich history.
Six years ago, there were 20 members of the inaugural class, including 18 individuals and two groups.
“There have been some brilliant competitors,” Gillis said of the Games.
Through his research, he explained Highland dancing “didn’t really take off” until the 1950s, while pipers and drummers came on the scene in the 1940s and 50s.
Gillis is part of a six-member selection committee, which includes representation from each aspect of the Games.
“It is such a tremendous honour,” Gerarda MacDonald, a Class of 2019 member, said of her selection.
She quickly added there are “many, many people” who are deserving of induction.
“There will be a lot of them for years to come,” MacDonald noted.
She said she is so happy to be part of such a “wonderful group.”
Touching on her years as a Highland dancer and teacher, MacDonald said it has been “such a big part of my life.”
She also praised today’s dancers and teachers for their “very strong talent.”
“It is so wonderful that tradition continues,” MacDonald said, noting accomplishments have come on the national and international stage.
Members of the Class of 2019 will become part of a virtual display found on the Antigonish Highland Society website – antigonishhighlandsociety.ca
Work also continues on a permanent display of some kind that will be located at the Antigonish Heritage Museum.
“They are thrilled,” Gillis said, when asked about the response from the newest inductees.
The 2019 Antigonish Highland Games Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Thursday, July 11, at the East Coast Credit Union Social Enterprise Centre.
Ken Farrell of 98.9XFM will emcee the celebration while inductee Colin Patrick MacDonald will be the guest speaker.
MacDonald, a past chair of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame board of governors, was a record-setting middle distance runner in the 1960s and 1970s.
For more information, and to purchase tickets for that event, contact Gillis at 902-870-6269 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the Class of 2019:
Stephanie Grant (dancer)
Gerarda MacDonald (dancer)
Doug Boyd (piper)
Lianne Bradshaw (drummer)
Gerald MacDonald (athlete/ pole vault)
Father Doug MacDonald (heavy events)
Angus Grant (athletics organizer)
Colin Patrick MacDonald (athlete/ middle distance)
Wayne Thompson (athletics/heavy events)
Dr. Jeannie Cameron
(athletics/middle distance runner)
Barry Ewen (piper)
Bruce Gandy (piper)