Given that Nana was a collector of keepsakes, it is no surprise that a program from the 1973 Victoria Highland Games resurfaced days before the 2011 Victoria Highland Games. Interestingly enough, the Games were held in the exact same place in 2011 as it was in 1973. Interesting because throughout the years, the Games has moved venues but has ended back at Topaz Park due to its growing in size and popularity. Kudos to Jim Maxwell and the Victoria Highland Games Association who have all worked so hard to make this a prominent city event.
Looking through the 1973 program (in pristine condition, I might add) with the rest of the family drummed up a lot of memories for everyone. With the whole family (including aunts, uncles and cousins) participating in highland activity at some point, there are plenty of stories to tell. With their children being heavily involved in the highland dancing and pipe bands, of course Nana and Grandpa (Watling - Mom's side) were involved themselves in the Games itself. It is quite fitting that Nana (Ellamae Watling) was head of Publicity while Grandpa (Len Watling) was the announcer....all I can picture is that cute wee man on stage with a microphone as big as he was...
A lot of the names listed were consistently involved in the local piping and drumming community over many years and have also passed the music, the talent and the sense of community on to their children and in some cases, grandchildren. Circled below is Pipe Major Ray Gandy of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, father of Bruce Gandy. A last name that is well known and respected throughout the piping world due to the mega success of Bruce and son, Alex. (Speaking of which, check out pipes|drums for the 2011 Livingstone video highlights of Alex's win and James P.'s second place performance!)
Having been going to the Victoria Highland Games since the age of five first as an observer, then as a competitor and now as a judge, James W. Troy was the perfect candidate for Chieftain of the 2011 Games. Being an honoured guest plus a judge made for a busy day! Probably the sharpest dressed man on the field that day, James W. officially opened the Games on Sunday.