The red car­pet of Glen­garry

The Glengarry News - - News - BY STEVEN WARBURTON News Staff Your loyal scribe bought a

Per­haps the most re­splen­dently dressed peo­ple at Thurs­day evening's Tar­tan Ball, which took place at the Met­calfe Cen­tre, Maxville were Lt-Colonel Ryan Hart­man along with sev­eral other mem­bers of the SDG High­landers.

That's not an un­der­state­ment as the Tar­tan Ball is a for­mal af­fair -- what the Academy Awards might look like if they took place in Scot­land. The men wear tuxedo jack­ets and kilts, the women wear evening gowns with tar­tan sashes. The High­landers wore kilts and din­ner jack­ets as red as the Moun­ties' trade­mark uni­form.

Ac­cord­ing to Cap­tain Mike McDonell, a 29-year-old Ap­ple Hill na­tive who has been with the High­landers since he was 18, the Corn­wall-based reg­i­ment bought 10 tick­ets -- an en­tire ta­ble -- as Games Pres­i­dent Lind­say MacCul­loch had asked Lt-Colonel Hart­man to be the guest of hon­our at the ball. LtCol. Hart­man spoke briefly about the ef­forts of the SDG High­landers dur­ing D-Day, which took place 75 years ago.

Tra­di­tion

Al­though Burton Thomas lives in Syra­cuse, NY, he has grown in­ti­mately fa­mil­iar with Maxville over the past three decades. Mr. Thomas, a 73-year-old re­tired ar­chi­tect, has been com­ing here for 27 years simply to at­tend the High­land Games.

“We keep com­ing back be­cause of the peo­ple,” he says. “We love the mu­sic and the at­mos­phere, but it's the peo­ple who put it on that makes it so won­der­ful.”

A long time ago, Mr. Thomas at­tended Games in Syra­cuse and fell in love with the pipes. His wife had a work col­league who was also a piper. “She told me that if I like the pipes, I had to come to Maxville.”

He says his favourite part of the Games is at­tended in the pi­o­barec­ahhh gold medal com­pe­ti­tion.

Mr. Thomas was at the Tar­tan Ball along with his wife, Kris Wal­dron, and friends John and Mau­reen Good­man.

Vet­eran

round of drinks for Jacques Gen­dron and his part­ner, Josee Fraser, shortly af­ter learn­ing that the for­mer is Founder Pres­i­dent of Cana­dian Viet­nam Vet­er­ans. The two hail from la Prairie, PQ. They at­tended the Games, and the Tar­tan Ball, as Ms. Fraser is ex­plor­ing her Scot­tish roots. Her fam­ily is from In­ver­ness.

This year marked the cou­ple's first time at the Glen­garry High­land Games. Al­though the vis­i­tors have seen them on tele­vi­sion be­fore, both con­fessed that they had no idea what to ex­pect

now that they were here.

As for his tours of duty in Viet­nam, Mr. Gen­dron says that he moved to the United States so he could learn English. While there, he joined the army and, when the Viet­nam War started, he went along with that.

First Ball

Tara Ste­wart, 21, of Cas­sel­man, was also mak­ing her Tar­tan Ball de­but. She said she was urged to go af­ter her mother, Joy, at­tended the event last year and had a won­der­ful time.

“She asked if I go and I said

yes,” Miss Ste­wart re­ports, adding that it made for a won­der­ful bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

As luck would have it, she was sit­ting at the same ta­ble as Mis­sisauga res­i­dent Ruth Fritz, who was also mak­ing her Games de­but. She was at­tend­ing the ball with her son, Howard MacDon­ald, who says he’s been try­ing to get his mom to Maxville for years.

Mr. MacDon­ald says that his fa­ther, Don, was a drum­mer back in 1954 with the Cameron High­landers.

STEVEN WARBURTON PHO­TOS

AT THE BALL: At left, Burton Thomas and his wife, Kris Wal­dron, may live in Syra­cuse, NY but they are long­time fans of the Glen­garry High­land Games. In fact, Mr. Thomas says he’s at­tended the Games 27 years in a row. They are shown at the Tar­tan Ball along with friends John and Mau­reen Good­man. At right, 21-year-old Cas­sel­man res­i­dent Tara Ste­wart, at­tended the Tar­tan Ball for the first time. She is flanked by Howard MacDon­ald and his mother, Ruth Fritz, who was also at­tend­ing the ball for the first time ever. In­ci­den­tally, the sash Miss Ste­wart is wear­ing is made of Royal Ste­wart tar­tan.

STEVEN WARBURTON PHOTO

DRESSED IN RED: Cap­tain Mike McDonell, Cap­tain Thomas Jan­carik, Lt-Colonel Ryan Hart­man, Of­fi­cer Cadet Car­son An­drews, Sec­ond Lieu­tenant Justin Town­dale, and Cap­tain Bradley Nut­ley, all of the SDG High­landers, at­tended Thurs­day’s Tar­tan Ball.

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