Friday, August 16, 2013

NB Scottish Portal Project-August 2013 Update

This update of the NB Scottish blog is taking a little different twist this time around and you will see why. Yesterday (August 15th) was Acadian Day in New Brunswick.  It is interesting to note Acadians as we know are what we call kissing cousins of the Scots, Irish, Cornish, Welsh and Manx.  The majority of Acadian descendants come from the Brittany area of France, and as we know Brittany is the Celtic part of France.  As a matter of fact Brittany and Wales have a lot in common.  We are all from the Celtic tree just different branches.

So from a Scottish organization or project we have not ill thoughts towards our Celtic cousins. As matter of fact, our hats go off to the group for their hard work and dedication to their cultural and language.  We could learn a lot from our cousins.

Acadian Day is always very interesting to analyze the reaction.  It is very interesting to watch how the politicians from all parties reacted to the day.  It was also interesting to see how the media reacted to the day.  It is even interesting see the Premier of the New Brunswick issue a statement for the day just like it was New Brunswick Day. 

When you compare days like Saint Andrew’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day or Saint David’s day to Acadian Day the provinces politicians don’t flock to those celebrations like they do for Acadian day.  On Facebook it was a steady stream of politicians updating their status to say they were on their way to a celebration close by.   So it is interesting to note that on Tartan Day which is a provincial declared day the people of Scottish descent don’t even get a special message from the Premier talking about how important our contributions are to the province.  I guess we have not contributed to our province!

Then if you take the NB Highland Games and Scottish Festival which is the official provincial Scottish gathering.   We are very lucky if we get a junior MLA let alone the Premier or a Minister. Oh and lets not just look at the politicians but let’s look at the people of Scottish descent.  There are people in the city of Fredericton who are of Scottish descent who can’t even brother to come down to the games and support the event.  Then there are the ones who walk by and stand there and listen because, and get this they would have to pay to get in!  But of course there are the extremely cheap ones who wait for  those few minutes just before the closing ceremony where they might get a deal and not pay full price to get in or if they are really lucky get in free.  They just think events like this just happen.    Do you see the differences, we are our own enemies.

Now let’s take a closer look at things.  Here are two pictures I would like for you to compare.  The first one is of the flag raising ceremony at Fredericton city hall last night (August 15, 2013) and the second picture is of the flag rising at Fredericton city hall on August 6th.   What a difference in crowds, support, excitement and attention.   We can’t even support our own events and celebrations!

Flag Raising Acadian Day August 15, 2013
Flag Raising Tartan Day April 6, 2013
Getting back to the purpose of this blog and that is to update you on what is going on with the portal. I will look at the support received for the NB Scottish Portal from the Scottish community in New Brunswick and the government as a whole.  From a government perspective it was like pulling teeth to get funding, although in the end the province did come through in the tune of $30,000.00.  Even the Feds came through with funding for a summer student.  But when you look at individual support received, well, let’s just it has been a little disappointing.  We have been able to raise almost $7000.00 from individuals throughout the province over a two year period and another $8,700.00 from the different Scottish groups. In some cases there are Scottish groups that have not given anything and others who have given thousands.   Then there is the society representative at the last Advisory committee who lets the committee know we can’t have anything in the Genealogy tent about the portal because it is not what the tent is for?????  I am still having a hard time to get my head around that one because the portal is a tool that will help people research their genealogy.  The best part the person when advising the committee was so sincere in their explanation.   Oh I almost forgot about the individual who would not renew their membership to the NBSCA because we asked government for assistance.  That person said he doesn’t believe in asking for hands out from government.  But yet that person has never donated to the portal.

It all boils down to one thing; we complain that our kissing cousins get all the money and attention.  But you know what; it is our fault because we are our own worst enemies.  We are a culture of complainers and winners.  We rather not support our own and complain about the others that support theirs. It takes so much less energy to do so and even less effort.     So there is our winning for the month and so with that said and although it is a day late doesn’t mean we don’t mean it.   Bonne FĂȘte des Acadiens!