Never Forget

I am the first artist-in-residence at the Doucet-Hennessy house in Bathurst, New Brunswick. My new exhibit opens to the public on Wednesday, July 3

By the way, I strongly identify as Irish. Yes, technically I am Canadian and one might suppose that today I would be celebrating Canada Day. However, for reasons I’ll not go into at present, I prefer to celebrate the Heritage passed down to by my ancestors, the Hennessys and O’Tooles among others.

The Don’t Forget You’re Irish art exhibit opens to the public July 3. Drop by Tuesday to Saturday for a cup of tea and a chat at the historic Doucet-Hennessy House in Bathurst, New Brunswick. If you play Celtic or Acadian music or any sort of traditional folk music, we hope to have informal music sessions on Saturdays from 2-4. Bring along your acoustic instrument and join us. Music workshops are in the planning for September.

This exhibit is open to the public from July 3 – 28 in Bathurst, New Brunswick. More about the exhibit in this press release:”>Irish Canadian family settled on Bay of Chaleur in Canada.


Oh My Canada in 2017

Here we are in 2017. My work in progress … No sponsor … No grant just me and an old hundred+year old book. New Scotland
There was a lot of early Scottish settler activity all along the coasts of early New Brunswick. By “the year 1843 the census showed about 30,000 persons of that (Scottish) descent in the province (NB). Many of the thousands of “United Empire Loyalists and Treasury or Military Loyalists” were soldiers of Scottish descent who settled mostly on the St. John and St. Croix rivers. Apparently a list was made in McGregor’s North America giving their origins and place of settlement.

So, how did this come about? Where did it all begin, what was this place sometimes referred to as New Scotland, what part did Scottish people play and how did Canada come into being?

In 1497 John Cabot and his son Sebastian discovered Cape Breton, setting somewhere on its shore the flag of Britain, thus making this land “a part of the dominion of the British monarch, Henry the Seventh.”

“In 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert took possession of Newfoundland in the name of Britain; meanwhile the King of France, Henry the Fourth, had sent explorers to colonize Acadia.

“In 1608, Champlain’s ship was steered up the St. Lawrence by the Scottish pilot- Abraham Martin.”

In 1613 Captain Argall or Ergadia ( of earlier Pocahontas fame) captured the territory of Acadia in the name of King James the Sixth of Scotland and First of England. King James enlisted the help of his friend and fellow poet the Scottish statesman who was to later become Earl of Stirling, Sir William Alexander, born about 1567, the only son of Alexander Alexander of Menstrie. Some might even have regarded Sir Alexander as the real founder of Canada.

Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling and Viscount Canada
“In 1609 he is described as a knight … In 1614 he became Master of Requests, and in 1620 the King sought his advice regarding his new acquired lands of Acadia …
He (Sir William Alexander) obtained from the king that the new territory should be called New Scotland, and immediately acquired a vast territory, which now includes all the Maritime Provinces, The Peninsula of Gaspe in Quebec, and all the islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, west and south of Newfoundland. This area included Anticosti, Cape Breton, and all other adjacent islands as far as Newfoundland. The bounds set by the King himself were: on the north the river St Lawrence, on the east the Gulf of St Lawrence, on the south the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west the river St. Croix to its head, and a line thence to run north to the first station for ships, or river falling into the great River of Canada, and thence northward by that River. ”
The Royal letter “communicating the king’s purpose to the Privy Council” was dated August 5, 1621.

New Scotland
” The Privy Council having consented, a Royal Warrent for the Charter was issued on September 10, 1621, and the Charter passed the Great Seal on the 29th of the same month, appointing Sir William (Alexander) hereditary Lieutenant of the new colony. The patent was embellished with portraits of James and his Lieutenant.”

New Galloway
“Alexander obtained a royal Charter of the Cape Breton portion of New Scotland for his friend Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar, under the title of New Galloway, and dated November 8, 1621.”

” In 1622, Alexander sent forth his first colonizing ship to New Scotland … The ship sailed from Old Scotland in June, but was delayed at the Isle of Man until August, and Newfoundland was not reached until the middle of September, where she was held by a storm. Sir William Alexander gives an account of the many difficulties encountered in his famous work, “Encouragement to Colonies.”

“A second ship, the St. LUke, sailed in March, 1623, and arrived at St. John’s on June 5th. Impeded by fogs and adverse gales, the emigrants finally arrived at Port de Mouton; but the expedition was, like the other, a failure, though by both Alexander sustained serious loss to his fortune.”

” In 1624 he published his work, “Encouragement to Colonies,” which is, without doubt, the earliest serious emigration literature published in connection with Canada. … In his work referred to, Alexander included a map of New Scotland.
He described the richness of the country awaiting its inhabitants, and pointed out that each year, like to a beehive, Scotland sent forth swarms of her people to expend their energies in foreign wars. … Alexander invited his fellow-countrymen to settle in a country where the arts of peace might have full sway, where commerce and agriculture might develop …

Another Map of New Scotland
“The Map of New Scotland, issued by Sir William Alexander in 1630 … shows New France on the north bank of the St. Lawrence, with Kebec (Quebec)and the river Saguenay and Tadousac; and New England parceled out among the many English adventurers. The St. CRoix, which today is the boundary, is there called the Tweed, which, as that River separated New England on the south-west from New Scotland on the north-east. The St. John River, in what is now New Brunswick, was called the Clyde, and the Bay of Funday(sic) was called Argal Bay, and the Sound west of Prince Edward Island, which had no name, was called the “Forthe”; the St. Lawrence was called “the greT River of Canada,” and the gulf “Golfe of Canada.” One of the large rivers running north into the St. LAwrence was called the “Sulway,” and all the land south of the St. Lawrence belonged to New England and New Scotland. The latter was divided into two provinces. All, now New Brunswick, and all Quebec from the Sulway down south of the St. LAwrence with Anticosti, was the Province of Alexandria; while what is now Nova Scotia, with Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, was the Province of New Caledonia. In this map the southern part of Newfoundland is called Alexandria.

Restigouche County
Scottish settlements in Restigouche can be identified by such names as Dunlee (sic), Glenlivet, Glenelg, Campbellton and Dalhousie. In nearby Gloucester County we had the Scottish settlements with names like Dunphries, Dunlop, Robertville and Scots Settlement.

In 1760 a trader from Scotland by the name of Walker built a trading post on Alston Point within what eventually became part of the City of Bathurst which was largely of Scottish origin.

Saint John
In 1761 the a map was made of Saint John harbour from a survey made by Captain Bruce, a Scotsman of the Royal Engineers during the time that Fort Frederick was garrisoned by a Highland regiment.

In 1762 a group of twenty explorers travelled from Newburyport in New England to Saint John and continued upriver to Fredericton. At the mouth of the “Nashwack River”(sic) they found the remains of an old fortress. It had, according to the “single Frenchman whom they encountered”, been “originally built by a party of settlers from Scotland … those sent out by Sir William Alexander, under Claude de la Tour.”

In 1764 William Davidson came from Scotland and settled at Miramichi where he was granted extensive amounts of land.

New Scotland
” The Privy Council having consented, a Royal Warrent for the Charter was issued on September 10, 1621, and the Charter passed the Great Seal on the 29th of the same month, appointing Sir William (Alexander) hereditary Lieutenant of the new colony. The patent was embellished with portraits of James and his Lieutenant.”

Quotes are sourced from 1911 writings by Wilfred Campbell, L.L.D. Of Aberdeen University; F.R.S.C., and taken from The Scotsman in Canada published by The Musson Book Company, Toronto.


Just a week or so ago Chaos struck at 212 St. Andrew Stret in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada. That, in case you are unaware, is where Maggie Q hangs her hats on Thursdays and Fridays and any other days when she feels so inclined. You see, it was like this. Guillaume the Acadian wanted to sell some of his antiques, or at least that is what he called the stuff. And stuff it was. There was so much stuff spilling out of his car that it drifted onto the sidewalk. Shudder shudder.

Ahhh but all is well now. Guillaume eventually managed to keep his stuff within the confines of the pallet area and had his yardsale. We even put up flags to celebrate Acadian Day on August 15. There might even be a continuation of the yardsale today and tomorrow. TIme? Whenever Guillaume shows up. Meanwhile, folks are invited inside to view and buy paintings by John and aprons by Sharon. The address … 212 St Andrew Street, Bathurst, NB, Canada.

It seems I had the spelling not quite right. It is Guyaume with a y. I guess that would be the French name which corresponds to “William” in English. I’ll be going to the shop about 9:00 am this morning to open for Guyaume who said he would be there between 9 and 9:30 to continue his yardsale


Things get curiouser and curiouser as Alice falls further and further down the hole. No doubt the Queen will explain everything, reasons Alice as she makes her way to the T-Party.

The Queen however is equally perplexed and hands Alice over to her ministers who have all been trained in the best Universities of the land.

Alice, not quite understanding the whole matter as clearly she would like, is at the mercy of the ministers who, after assuring her that they have only her best interests at heart, have recently approved and signed lucrative contracts with a myriad of tea-pot manufacturers who have invented an amazing new spoutless sans-handle tea-pot that is unconditionally guaranteed to never spill a drop of tea.

Still Waiting

Now December, 2016
Waiting for 2017

Waiting? Hmmmmmmmm … What for? Well waiting on promises I guess … A year’s worth of promises, no, many years, many broken promises.
Aren’t we all waiting for something? Hope maybe … Peace? Justice? An end to poverty? Respect for artists?

The broken promises are the most difficult to deal with, especially at this time of year.

Been thinking about the Oakland artists … They must have had hopes and dreams too. I hope their spirit boat somehow finds its way into our harbour. After all they went through, despite the fact that theirs was the greater tragedy, we have so much in common. Their ship burnt as did ours. Yes, I welcome their spirits here.