The morning of Saturday, January 14 dawned windy and cold. Certainly cold enough to put colour to the cheeks -- both upper and nether. Nevertheless, some hundred people braved the winter weather to launch the 2017 kilt skate season at Montreal's Old Port for the Third Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate in that city.
Montreal has a long history of fortitude against adversity -- including cold weather. We kilt skaters take our inspiration from the example of Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, who founded the city in 1642.
The Scottish influx into Montreal began in the 1760s, and the Scots quickly made the city their headquarters in a commercial empire that stretched up the St. Lawrence River and across the continent. The St. Andrew's Society of Montreal has been at the heart of the city's development. Under the leadership of Dr. Gillian Leitch, and the Society's President, Brian Mackenzie, they have been the champions of kilt skating in this city.
The venue was the Natrel Skating Rink at the Old Port of Montreal, just below the Bonsecours Market.
Gilian Leitch and her volunteer team arrived early to set up the communications material and the swag graciously provided by the Scottish Government.
With a slight delay so that the zamboni could work its magic on the ice. The kids primed themselves, summoning their inner Scot.
At 2:30, the piper came forward to summon all kilt skaters.
A splendid time was had by all...
Not everyone came out in kilts, but everyone got into the spirit.
Some of the fellowship can be attributed to free birthday cake, of course.
The cake was ceremoniously cut.
Everyone was welcome to a piece.
And while they were eating Sir John A's birthday cake, they could be entertained by Highland dancers.
And then the Highland dancers themselves take to the ice.
New friends were made.
And everyone had an all-round great time!
Next kilt skate: Saturday, January 21, at noon in Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto.