My husband Jim and I were asked out to Canada to the AGM of the Clan MacRae on April 5th 2008.
We flew from Glasgow to Toronto on Zoom Airways which only took 6 hours 20 minutes living up to their name! We were amazed to see so much snow piled up beside the roads, and were told they had had a lot of snow this year and much later in Spring than usual.
The Hotel was very comfortable and warm. In Toronto, we walked for miles underground where there are shops, banks, cafes, hairdressers, in fact everything you could think of. Periodically we came up and had a look around the buildings above ground, and then down again rather like moles.
The next day we arranged a trip to see Niagara Falls which we felt was a must. They were really spectacular. Usually you can take a boat up the Falls, but there was still too much ice around for that to be possible. The Falls are right on the border of Canada and America. The Americans have a smaller waterfall, but still very impressive. We had lunch in a hotel looking onto the Falls and after a last look we went back to our coach to Toronto.
The next day we took the train to Burlington where we were met by Jay MacCrimmon who had asked us to stay and we drove off to her house in the country. Jay is a great niece of Colonel John McCrae and she and her husband were marvellous hosts to us. At her house the ground was frozen so hard that when the show melted it couldnt sink down, so behind the house where there had been a burn there was now a lake..
That night we were asked to a small dinner at a lovely restaurant by the lake where we met Robert MacRae and the Office Bearers. It was a great chance to get to know them and we had a very enjoyable time. The next night Barbara McDuff hosted an excellent buffet lunch in her house where we met many more MacRaes. We also listened to a very interesting talk on John McCraes lesser known brother.
After coffee we went on to the AGM. As Honorary President I was asked to open the meeting and then handed over to the President, the Venerable Robert MacRae.
After lunch we went to the birth place of the Colonel. Although it was quite a small house, it contained an immense amount of memorabilia of the Colonel, which I found fascinating. There was a very enthusiastic guide there and we had a very interesting time. I now hope, with their help, to get a room at Eilean Donan dedicated to him.
All too soon out visit came to an end and the next day we went back to the airport and home. I shall never forget the kindness and hospitality of everyone over there. We had a wonderful time and were hade to feel so at home. I do hope some will come over next year to the Year of the Homecoming celebrations, and we can entertain them over here,
Thank you everyone for a memorable visit.