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Belfast Historical Society

The Belfast Historical Society

Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Arrival
of the Selkirk Settlers to Belfast, Prince Edward

"An Tarsainn - The Crossing"

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The year 2003 marks the 200th Anniversary of the arrival of the Selkirk Settlers to the community of Belfast, Prince Edward Island.

The "Selkirk Settlers" were a group of Scottish colonists brought to Prince Edward Island in 1803 by Thomas Douglas, the 5th Earl of Selkirk. These Highland men and women sailed on three ships: the Polly, the Dykes, and the Oughton. The Polly arrived on August 7th, the Dykes (on which Lord Selkirk traveled) disembarked on August 9th, and the Oughton arrived on the 27th. About 400 of the approximate 800 colonists brought by Lord Selkirk settled in the Belfast area. Most of these settlers had been passengers on the ship Polly.

The Belfast Historical Society has scheduled activities throughout 2003 to commemorate the arrival of the Selkirk Settlers. But, the August celebration will be the highlight of the year.

From August 7th through August 10th, the Belfast Historical Society, in conjunction with the Caledonian Club, will host the 200th Anniversary and the Annual Highland Games at the Lord Selkirk Provincial Park in Eldon. Over this four-day extended weekend, planned activities include: genealogy workshops and lectures, displays and exhibits, concerts, traditional highland athletic competitions, piping competitions, reenactments of the Selkirk Settlers arrival, highland dance competitions, guest speakers, and kilted classic golf tournaments. For more information on the August Celebration, click on "August Celebration" below.

Many descendants of the Selkirk Settlers still reside in the Belfast area. Others have long ago left. We call out to those who are away to come home and celebrate our past with us.


Event Schedule

January 1st New Years Day Social
Location: Eldon Legion, Belfast, Time: 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Sponsor: The Belfast Historical Society
Description: This is the first event of the 2003 Celebration. The Master of Ceremonies Kenny Emery will be joined by Historical Society President Hesta MacDonald. Entertainers Garnet Buell, Saundra Emery, Marie MacIntyre, Margaret Ross MacKinnon, and Jimmy O�Connor will perform a variety of Scottish music. Also included is bagpipe and fiddle music, readings from Lord Selkirk�s Diary and the premier of The Isle of Skye, arranged by Margaret Ross MacKinnon and sung by Julie Carmichael Jackson. Information about the various events taking place throughout the year will be discussed and calendars will be distributed.
Free admission.

January 24th Robbie Burns Concert
Location: Le Carrefour School, Charlottetown, Time: 7:30 p.m.
Sponsor: Caledonian Club
Description: Scottish concert featuring highland dancing, fiddle music, step dancing, bagpipes, and Scottish poetry.
Contacts: President Cecil MacPhail, 675-2210
Admission at door. (Amount not yet determined.)

March 14th � 16th Winter Carnival
Location: Belfast Recreation Center
Sponsor: Belfast Recreation Center

Winter Carnival Schedule:

Friday, March 14th
9 pm - 11 pm, Disco Skate and Fancy Dress Contest. Skate to the music of Club 17.
7:30 pm - 10 pm, Ceilidh Night. Featuring Mary Lou MacLure and Roy MacDonald, Lester MacPherson, Bud Stewart and friends, Amy Swanson, Dot MacAulay, Garnett Buell and friends, Estell Gerritsen and Lewis MacDonald.

Saturday, March 15th
2:00 pm, Skeet Shoot.
4 pm - 6 pm, Bean and Wiener Supper.
10 pm - 1 am, Adult Dance. Music by Kendall Docherty and friends.

Sunday, March 16th
1 pm - 2:30 pm, Skate-a-Thon.
2:00 pm, Car Rally.
3:00 pm, Pownal Coaches vs. Belfast Coaches.

Kevin Ross - 659-2277 or 659-2556
David Cooper - 659-2899 or 659-2931
Hazel Davies - 659-2276
Sarah-Jane Bell - 659-2209

April 5th Tartan Day Concert
Location: Benevolent Irish Society Hall, Charlottetown.
Time: 8 p.m.
Sponsor: Belfast Historical Society
Description: A traditional Scottish Ceilidh with lots of entertainment. Lunch provided.
Admission at door. (Amount not yet determined.)

June 14th Weavefest
Location: Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead, Orwell. Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sponsors: The Spinners and Weavers Guild of PEI and The Sir Andrew Macphail Foundation.
Description: The day will feature weaving and spinning demonstrations, and afternoon tea. Hand-woven and handspun items will be showcased and available for sale. Tour the homestead or walk the trails.
Macphail Website:
Free admission.

June 18th Tour of Skye
On June 18th, a group of descendants and their guests will depart from Prince Edward Island for the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The group will travel and sojourn together, but while in Skye each traveler may select his or her own itinerary from a wide range of planned activities.

July 1st Canada Day Celebration

Location: Orwell Corner, Orwell. Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sponsor: Orwell Corner
Description: The Canada Day celebration will begin with an interdenominational service at 11 a.m., a flag raising at 12 noon, and a birthday cake at 12:30 p.m. All restored buildings on the site will be open for tours, an afternoon concert will be held in the community hall, and children�s games will be held in the school yard at 2 p.m. Canteen service will be available.
Orwell Corner Website:
Free admission.

August Celebration
Click on August Celebration above to see our detailed Aug 6th to 10th Itinerary!

August 30th Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride
Location: Pinette Racetrack, Pinette
Sponsor: Pinette Raceway, Inc.
Description: The famous RCMP Musical Ride. The Musical Ride was first developed in 1876 by early members of the North West Mounted Police to display their riding ability and entertain the local community. The RCMP Musical Ride represents a colorful Canadian tradition. The troop of 32 horses and riders will perform a variety of cavalry drills choreographed to music. Entertainment (Fiddlers Sons and Belfast Pipe & Drum) prior to the show.
Contact: Priscilla Morrison, Event Coordinatior - Phone (902) 659-2099, Fax (902) 659-2317, E-mail: [email protected]
Admission not yet determined.

October University of Prince Edward Island Convocation
Location: University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown. Sponsor: University of Prince Edward Island
Description: The Convocation will be held in conjunction with the Brudenell Settlers who are also celebrating their 200th Anniversary.

November 29th St. Andrews Annual Dinner
Location: Not yet determined
Sponsor: Caledonian Club
Description: Dinner and Scottish entertainment
Contact: President Cecil MacPhail, 675-2210.
Tickets should be purchased in advance.


How to Contact us: The Belfast Historical Society may be contacted by mail, e-mail, or telephone:


Belfast Historical Society

Linda Jean Nicholson MacKenzie,
200th Anniversary Event Coordinator
RR 1
Belfast, PEI Canada
C0A 1A0
(902) 659-2209

[email protected]


August Itinerary!
Messages from:
Premier Pat Binns,
Lawrence MacAulay!
Map, Sponsors & Links
More Coming!

Designed by The Island Register

Last Updated: 04/29/2003 12:24:10 PM
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