John Perrin appointed Bard of the Society

John Perrin has been appointed the Bard of the St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg.  John's appointment is effective immediately.  As you know, he succeeds the late Dr. Glen Lowther who held this post for some 15 years, until his passing in June.

John has been an active member of the Society for over 20 years and served on the Board in many capacities for most of those years, including a term as Society President from 2012 - 2014.   In recent years John, at Glen's request, assisted our late Bard in a number of duties as Bard, so I think John comes to this appointment well-prepared for this role in our Society.  John's extensive knowledge of Scottish culture, heritage, history and traditions will serve him and the Society very well.

Volunteer Opportunities

Interested in volunteering at the Whisky Tasting:British Pub Edition? You will get free entrance if you help out taking tickets at the door, assisting with the Nose Knows contest or Putting Contest or other short term tasks at the event. For more information, contact Pam Simmons, Secretary at 204-487-7181 or

Thank you Folklorama Volunteers!

A special thank you to the following volunteers to helped out with the St. Andrew's booth at the UK and Scotland Pavilions during Folklorama: Peter Heavysege (who did a great job of organizing volunteers and the booth):Peter Heavysege, Colin Harris, Pam Simmons, David Cherrett, John & Judith Perrin, Rhonda Kennedy Rogers, Kris Olafson, Phyliss Cherrett, Dwight Macaulay, Evelyn Mitchell, Rob Tighe & Phyllis Fraser, and Donald & Alesa Sutherland.

Society Grants Awarded

More than $17,000 has been donated this year to various Scottish cultural groups in Manitoba
$1000 to Scot Dance Manitoba for their dance festival
$2500 to the Winnipeg Scottish Festival
$ Transcona & District Pipe Band
$1500 to Lord Selkirk-Robert Fraser Memorial Pipe Band
$3000. to the Manitoba Highland Gathering held annual in Selkirk, Manitoba
$5000 to McGill-Queens Univ. publishers toward the publication of the book "Friends, Foes & Furs" by Harry Duckworth
$2500 to the Society’s Ceilidh for entertainment

Clan Sinclair 50th Gathering

In June, Clan Sinclair celebrated its 50th Anniversary in Winnipeg as a clan in Canada. In attendance was the hereditary chief of Clan Sinclair - The 20th Earl of Caithness, The Honourable Malcolm Ian Sinclair. Supporting and fostering Scottish connection is what Clan Sinclair is all about.

 The theme for the gathering of Clan Sinclair of Canada was the Celebration of the marriage of William and Nahoway Sinclair. It was one of the first marriages to take place in Manitoba which was discouraged by the British Crown in the early days of the fur trade in Manitoba and Canada.


Guests arrived from the United Kingdom, Australia, USA, locally and other parts of Canada for four days of celebrations and tours to St. John's Cathedral to Margaret Nahoway’s grave for a service and to Seven Oaks House (Nahoway's home before death). A guided tour at the Museum of Man & Nature offered the Sinclair Clan a viewing of HBC exhibits and its private collection.  Guests found the service at St. Peter, Dynevor Old Stone Church to be emotionally moving.  St. Peter's, which was the first Indigenous Church and Old St. Peter's Reserve.  It was also where Catherine Cook Sinclair, the daughter of William and Nahoway, was buried.  A trip to Lower Fort Garry offered enactments of how the Scots and Indigenous people interacted.


On Saturday, June 22, they celebrated with a dinner at the Hotel Fort Garry with 115 guests attending as well as several St. Andrew's Society members: Jae Eadie, President and his wife Rhoda, Pam Simmons, Alexandra Paul and John and Judith Perrin. Jim Bear, one of our patrons and wife, Meryl, was part of the evening. It was a delightful evening filled with live entertainment by Indigenous singers, jingle dancers and the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band.  It was a blend of both cultures - just like William and Nahoway. The Earl of Caithness was joined by Scott and Rory Sinclair in one of the most humorous addresses to the haggis.


Clan Sinclair also held their AGM on the last day of their four days of touring and sight-seeing. Congratulations to Luke Settee, a member of the St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg for being elected Vice President of Clan Sinclair Canada. It was also Luke who did a splendid job of organizing the Winnipeg events for the gathering in Winnipeg. 

The Peguis Selkirk Treaty Monument

The St. Andrew’s Society has been instrumental in the formation and operation of the broadly representative Committee to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Peguis Selkirk Treaty. During the planning phase of the committee’s work, it was decided in January 2017 to apply for permission to erect a monument commemorating the spirit of the treaty on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building. The application was submitted in February 2017. The committee has recently received approval for the monument project with design work to begin following confirmation of the assigned location on the grounds. This will be a major undertaking, likely extending over the next two years or so, and intimately related to the Scottish heritage of Red River.

As the first treaty in Western Canada, the Peguis Selkirk Treaty represents the beginning of the formal relationship between First Nations and the Crown in the region. Under the provisions of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, a treaty with sovereign First Nations, original inhabitants of the land, was necessary for the lawful establishment of the Red River Selkirk settlement. Without the treaty there likely could not have been a permanent settlement and the history of Manitoba almost certainly would have unfolded in very different manner.  

The written treaty did not truly embody the agreement as it was understood by the five Cree and Ojibway signatory chiefs, and was often not fully adhered to by the Hudson’s Bay Company following Lord Selkirk’s early death in 1820. Despite these deficiencies the great Saulteaux chief, Peguis, a leader among the First Nations, welcomed and supported Lord Selkirk’s Scottish settlers and upheld peace and order in the settlement. During his 1817 visit to Red River, Lord Selkirk himself wrote:  

“The Bearer, Peguis, one of the principal chiefs of the Chippewas or Saulteaux of Red River, has been a steady friend to the Settlement ever since its first establishment and has never deserted its cause… He has often exerted his influence to restore peace; and having rendered most essential services to the settlers in their distress, deserves to be treated with favour and distinction by the officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company and all friends of peace and order.”

As a result of this history, the committee proposed a treaty monument featuring a bronze sculpture of a likeness of Chief Peguis, representing himself and the other chiefs, and all First Nations people. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs has expressed its support for this concept. It is also important to note there has never been any recognition on the Legislative Building grounds of First Nations’ essential contributions to the peaceful settlement and development of Manitoba, an omission long overdue for remedy.  

The monument will therefore commemorate the spirit of the treaty and, in honouring Chief Peguis and chiefs Machewheseab, Mechkaddewikonaie, Kayajieskebinoa and Ouckidoat, is intended to represent an act of reconciliation with all our fellow Manitobans of First Nations heritage.  As descendant organizations associated with some of the first European settlers, it is entirely appropriate the Scottish heritage community and The St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg should be associated with leadership of this historic initiative.

By John Perrin, Co-chair, Committee to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Peguis Selkirk Treaty

149th Annual Dinner - November 29

The Brits and Scots were very involved with both sides of the 1919 Winnipeg Strike. To recognize this centenary event at our 149th Annual Dinner on November 29 at the Hotel Fort Garry, Danny Schur writer, composer and producer will perform excerpts from his movie Stand! and play Strike!  The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders will also provide wonderful Scottish tunes.

This is the most prestigious event on the Society’s calendar that celebrates and raises funds for Scottish culture and heritage groups and activities in Manitoba! 

This year’s dinner will be somewhat different from previous dinners. There will be fewer speeches and more time to enjoy an evening of Scottish music such as the traditional 4-course beef dinner (with a taste of Scottish fare and drink) and exceptional entertainment to celebrate 100 years of the Winnipeg Strike

A portion of the ticket sales is donated to the St. Andrews Society Trust Fund. Tickets are $150 for members and $160 for non-members and $2500 for corporate tables which come with preferred seating.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite or through Pam Simmons, Secretary by calling 204 487 7181 or emailing your ticket order form to order forms can be downloaded from the website at HERE.

Whiskys of the World - British Pub Edition

Please join us for the WHISKYS OF THE WORLD: BRITISH PUB EDITION event on Sept 13 at the Winnipeg Winter Club. Tickets must be obtained before the event. Taste some of the following in a British pub atmosphere: AnCnoc,Old Pulteney 12 year old, Caorunn Gin, Cattos blended Whisky, Ardbeg An Oa, W.H. Weller (Bourbon - Created by a Canadian), High River Canadian Whisky, Drambuie, Innes and Gunn Original, Goslings Black Seal Rum, Hendricks Gin and more...

Your ticket includes all tastings with food pairings. Wear your favourite team shirt or Scottish attire like us. Try your hand in our putting contest and your nose in the whisky test. Great prizes. Tickets available on Eventbrite (fees apply). To purchase directly The St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg – please provide details of names of guests, number of tickets, email and telephone numbers. Mail your cheque for $65 to The St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg,  P.O. Box 596, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 2J3 or send $65 via Interac to: