BUTE had no fewer than five representatives in the annual Tartan Week parade in New York recently.
Four island residents – Colin Fulcher, John Digney, John Webster and Sam Lawrie – took their place among the many pipe bands, clans, societies, other organisations and representatives of Scotland in the parade down Sixth Avenue – also known as the Avenue of the Americas.
The fifth person with Bute connections in the parade was none other than this year’s Chieftain, Bob Winter, the Lord Provost of Glasgow, who owns a holiday home in Kilchattan Bay and is a frequent visitor to the island.
Colin told us: “The people of New York were so friendly and welcoming to us and we would recommend this city to anyone.
“It was an unforgettable experience, and the sight of thousands of people waving Scotland flags and cheering us on is one which we will remember for many years!”
The Manhattan parade, though, wasn’t the only Scottish-themed event in North America last week to have a link to Bute: 340 miles north of New York, at the St Andrew’s Club in Toronto, Chris and Hazel Markwell, who have a holiday home in Port Bannatyne, attended an event organised by the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise to celebrate the deep links of friendship, culture and commerce between Canada and Scotland.
Chris, who organised last year’s ‘Baird of Bute’ celebrations, marking the centenary of Scotland’s first heavier-than-air powered flight from the beach at Ettrick Bay, told us: “The entertainment was provided by Skerryvore, an award-winning band from Tiree, and guests enjoyed featured products of Scottish food and drink.”
Among those also present at the Toronto gathering was retiring Argyll and Bute MSP and Scottish Government enterprise and tourism minister Jim Mather, who, Chris told us, made generous mention of the area in his speech at the event.