HEC­TOR All things Scot­tish

Some spe­cial events and guests are lined up to mark the an­niver­sary of voy­age of iconic ship from Scot­land.

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SAM MACDON­ALD

The com­mu­nity of Pic­tou plans to cel­e­brate a piv­otal his­tor­i­cal mile­stone as this week­end marks the an­niver­sary of the orig­i­nal iconic Ship Hec­tor land­ing on its shores.

This week­end will also mark the 17th an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of the launch of the Hec­tor in 2000 — and the 244th an­niver­sary of the orig­i­nal ar­rival of the ship, car­ry­ing Scot­tish im­mi­grants to Nova Sco­tia.

“We al­ways take time in Septem­ber, around the an­niver­sary of the Ship Hec­tor to cel­e­brate the Celtic her­itage that is part of this com­mu­nity,” said MaryBeth Mo­ri­arty, min­is­ter at Pic­tou United Church.

The church plans to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion through wor­ship ser­vices, with a fo­cus on the Gaelic im­mi­grants who came to Nova Sco­tia, and their cul­tural le­gacy, which lives on to­day.

The United Church is one of the only churches in the Pic­tou area that con­sis­tently does some­thing to mark the date of the Hec­tor’s ar­rival, Mo­ri­arty noted.

“We cel­e­brate the Ship Hec­tor, its pas­sen­gers, their de­scen­dants and their con­tri­bu­tions to life to the com­mu­nity in Pic­tou — and the wider Nova Sco­tian com­mu­nity,” said Mo­ri­arty. “We gather to­gether, and through mu­sic and sto­ry­telling, we re­mem­ber the Ship Hec­tor and its pas­sen­gers.”

To help in the process of re­mem­brance, Lewis MacKin­non will be in at­ten­dance, and will use his tal­ents to help with the his­tor­i­cal Gaelic as­pect of the cel­e­bra­tion. MacKin­non is a singer, poet and sto­ry­teller — all in Gaelic, a lan­guage in which he is flu­ent.

“He’s in­volved with the Gaelic Coun­cil of Nova Sco­tia, and he will be with us to share some sto­ries, and to of­fer the gift of Gaelic mu­sic,” said Mo­ri­arty.

The wor­ship ser­vice, which will be­gin at 10:30 a.m., will en­tail mu­sic, dancing, Gaelic speak­ing and sto­ry­telling — in ad­di­tion to a re­li­gious wor­ship ser­vice.

The aus­pi­cious cel­e­bra­tion will in­clude a retelling of the his­tor­i­cal tale of the Hec­tor, and per­for­mances by bag­pipers, fid­dlers and high­land dancers.

“This is an up­lift­ing and in­spir­ing wor­ship, and our hope is that by re­mind­ing our­selves of the story, it will con­tinue to in­spire us to­day,” said Mo­ri­arty. “We think of the peo­ple who boarded the Hec­tor in search of new land, safety, se­cu­rity and new be­gin­nings.

She added, “We think, this day, of im­mi­grants and refugees who come and do the same thing. They’re em­bark­ing on a jour­ney — and we hope we can be as wel­com­ing to them as the First Na­tions were to the peo­ple who landed on the shores of Pic­tou.”

SAM MACDON­ALD/THE NEWS

The Hec­tor, as it can be found at the Hec­tor Her­itage Quay, at the Pic­tou water­front.

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