The Honourable Anita Neville, P.C., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
ST. ANDREWS SOCIETY DINNER
Fort Garry Hotel
Saturday, November 26, 2022, 6:30 p.m.
(please check against delivery)
People of the pipe and drum, the thistle and the maple, members and friends of the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg, it’s a pleasure to join you in celebrating this day and those who honour it.
We are gathered tonight in the heart of Treaty One land, in the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and the Metis, in the capital of a province that is home to the Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples. Here in Manitoba, the long historical ties and family ties between Scottish and Indigenous Manitobans have an important role to play in our work for healing, inclusion and reconciliation.
There is much to celebrate for Manitobans on the feast day of the patron saint of Scotland.
We all know of the outsized role the people of that small northern nation played in this country and this province.
We know of the Scottish traders and mapmakers who made the fur trade possible. We know of the Scottish engineers who built the railways that connected this land. And we know of the Scottish community builders who established cities and towns, banks and factories.
Today, our hearts still beat faster when we hear the bagpipes leading a parade and our feet move even faster when a Red River jig is played.
As the grandchild of immigrants who came to Canada searching for freedom, security and opportunity, I find inspiration in a tradition that started with the arrival of Selkirk settlers over two centuries ago.
In the centuries since the Selkirk settlers, dispossessed back home and desperately poor, this province has offered new hope to wave after wave of newcomers:
Jews, Ukrainians and Mennonites fleeing Czarist or Communist persecution, Icelanders forced out by a volcanic disaster; people of many nationalities whose nations were devastated in the world wars; the boat people of Vietnam; Yazidis, Kurds and Syrians facing horrific persecution – they and countless others have found a place of safety and opportunity here.
Of all the gifts Manitoba’s Scottish community has given this province, a legacy of community spirit and compassion is something we can all celebrate, every day.
Congratulations to the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg on bringing Manitobans together to work and play, dream and build for more than a century and a half.
Thank you and enjoy this evening.