Bella, their Westie, was excited to introduce herself to us all while Michael immediately offered us a glass of wine from his own orchard, Closson Chase, in Prince Edward County.
We made our way to their back patio where we were met by gorgeous silver trays of dainty sandwiches, canapes, vegetables and fruit trays plus delectable pastries.
Although we didn’t plan to have a Ceilidh, that’s what happened! A REAL Ceilidh should never be planned!
World famous Folk Singer Maggie Christl, now a close friend and greatly admired by Mary, was one of our guests and willingly sang some songs. That set the mood!
Maggie was followed by Fillina Maclean from North Uist, whose rich, intense interpretation of Gaelic songs is incomparable. Ishbel MacIver joined Rhoda and Ken MacRitchie, Chris Bateman, Matt Chisholm, Laurie MacKinnon, Cinders McLeod, Trish MacNeil and Oighrig Keogh in the choruses, while others sat back and enjoyed.
A great surprise was the introduction of ANGUS, our Gaelic Society magnificent Ram’s Head sporting his glorious sterling silver mountings and massive Cairn Gorm crest which tops the snuff container on the top of his head.
Michael introduced Angus in all his splendor and recounted the many formal gatherings he had honoured with his presence in the United States. He really looked wonderful sparkling in the bright sunshine of an Ontario June evening. We were all invited to partake of the beautiful brown powder that our ancestors enjoyed years ago.
Matt Chisholm, a young, very fluent Torontonian, sang a couple of songs just like a lad from the Outer Islands. On retiring inside when raindrops came, Moira Billard sang “The Skye Boat Song” beautifully, in English. She was followed by Kathleen Campbell who gave a presentation of a historical publication written by one of her ancestors.
A final treat for us was a Gaelic solo by Laurie MacKinnon. She has a beautiful voice but we never get to hear her at Canan agus Òran as, being the organizer, she is always too busy. Our parting was loud and sincere as we held hands to sing Oidche mhath Leibh.
MÓRAN TAING DO CATHY AGUS MICHEIL