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Table of Contents

Preface (Home)
Welcome Home
Ed Mahon
A. F. W. Robertson
Caledonian Games
George Grant - Chairman
Officials, Committees & Rules
The Games Program
Home Coming Day Program
The Arena Fire
Fall Fair - Poem by C.R.L.F.
Old Timers
Ike Shoemaker & Dan McKenzie
Carrier Boy's Address, Poem byJohn Murdock
The Flood a Poem by C.R.L.F.
Photos of Past Prominent Residents
Backward Glances
Reminiscences by Mrs. Catherine Cameron
Paisley's First Circus by W. H. Reed
Backward Glances by Archie Fisher
Paisley Many Years Ago
Paisley Many Years Ago by W. Murdock
Memories - Old Home Town, W. Murdock
Two more Poems by C.R.L.F.
The Dim and Distant Past
Paisley in the Early Days
The Queen's Birthday 1874 by W. H. Reed


Established in 1855 by the late John Valentine, it, was purchased by the late James Stark, Sr., in 1872. It Was burned down in 1884, but was rebuilt by Mr. »Stark, who carried on until 1904, when he was succeeded by his son. James Stark, Jr., who has now retired, While his son, Nellson Stark carries on the business.



As reeve of Paisley I have the honor of welcoming you back to this community on the occasion of the first Bruce County Re-union, and incidentally, the first re-union in which Paisley has participated.

This re-union, or home-coming, has been planned primarily for the purpose of providing an opportunity for old boys and girls to return to their various old homes in Bruce and to renew acquaintanceships and associations. From the response to our more than 16,000 invitations, we are sure that Bruce old boys and girls will be here from far and wide, and among them will be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of exPaisleyites. We know that there are also many who are unable, for various reasons, to make the return trip at this time, and to those who are unavoidably absent we desire to convey greetings, too.

During your visit with us we hope that you will enjoy every minute, and that you will be able to re-visit all of those scenes so dear to your hearts. Everything possible is being done to ensure your cornfort and happiness during this great period of re-union and celebration. If there is, at any time, anything we can do to assist you, it is but yours to ask.

On behalf of the citizens of Paisley and the surrounding district, I want to extend to you all a sincere and hearty welcome. I am looking forward to meeting many of you whom I already know, as well as to making new friends.

Sincerely yours,

Ed MAHON of Vancouver, B.C.

Who is really responsible for the fact that most of you are back home for this grand re-union. It all happened this way. Away back in the fall of 1946, The Paisley Advocate published a series of articles expressing the opinion that this village should, and could, sponsor an Old Boys' & Girls' Reunion in 1948. There were many of the paper's readers who were delighted with the preposal, and scores, most of them from points far away, wrote in to commend the idea, and to urge that something be done about it. At home the idea was catching on slowly when Ed Mahon, secretary of the Vancouver Bruce Old Boys and Girls Association, and a native of Elderslie Township, who for many years has provided The Advocate with items of interest concerning former local and district folk now at the Coast, came up with fervent approval of the re-union suggestion. But Ed had something more to offer than a mere OK of the idea. For years he had been mulling over the prospect of interesting the former Bruceites in the west, and in particular those in British Columbia, in a great Bruce County Home-Coming. Not. just a re-union of old boys from Paisley, but of old boys and girls from Paisley, Walkerton, Kincardine, Tara, Chesley, Lucknow, and every other urban centre, as well as from each of the county townships. Ed's agile mind conjured up a thrilling picture of hundreds of the county old boys and girls climbing aboard a big special train at the Coast and riding triumphantly home to the old county where the folks who were waiting to receive the visitors would join in a monster welcome at Walkerton. It was a great idea-but would it work?

First gun in Ed Mahon's campaign was fired the first week of September, 1946, when The Advocate carried a letter from its "special West Coast correspondent" and in which the plan for a County Home-Coming was briefly outlined. The paper carried follow-up articles boosting the proposal, and through the winter Mr. Mahon kept firing "special despatches" designed to sell his idea to the home folk, as well as those readers of The Advocate living in other parts. Finally the idea appeared to catch on, and other county papers began to take notice of it. Some approved it; others couldn't see it, and contended there were far too many obstacles in the way of successful culmination of the plan.

Then, in the early summer of 1947, Mr. Mahon came east on business, and at a special meeting in Paisley, he outlined his proposal to represtentatives of Paisley, Port Elgin and Southampton. With Mr. Mahon was another ex-Bruceite, Neil Pollock of Victoria, B.C., who also voiced enthusiasm over the idea. They said that the C.N.R. had been approached with the plan, and had promised every co-operation in bringing it to a successful conclusion. Those at the meeting were inspired by the enthusiasm of Mr. Mahon and his ally, Mr. Pollock, and they promised they would push the idea for all it was worth.

To make the story brief, the proposal was finally placed before a largely attended meeting in Paisley, and it was unanimously decided to go ahead. A county organization, to be known as the Bruce County Re-union Association, was set up, with S. F. Ballachey, reeve of Paisley, as its president, and Allan W. Perkins, also of Paisley, as its secretary, Ellis Millard of Southampton, was put at the head of the publicity committee, and from that point on, the idea sailed ahead, gaining in momentum with every passing day.

Ed Mahon, as Coast organizer, has done a grand job there, and has also found the time to keep constantly in touch with the Association here. He secured the railways' assurance of a special re-union train from Vancouver, and has kept driving along on every phase of the home-coming. It was his own brain-child, and we know that every one, both among those who have come from afar to join this re-union, as well as those who are at home to welcome the visitors, join us in extending to Ed Mahon sincerest appreciation for the very excellent job he has done. The memories of this grand home-coming shall remain with us all for many years-indeed, we shall never forget it. For dreaming up this idea, and transmuting it into action, we thank you, Ed Mahon.


Much of the credit for success of the first revival of Paisley’s famed Caledonian Games must go to one ,Who is not a resident of the village, and who had, indeed, never been in our community until he was invited by the Committee to assist in planning the celebration for this big day, July 21st, 1948.

A. F. W. Robertson is a resident of another of Ontario’s traditionally Scottish centres, Fergus. About four years ago Mr. Robertson, a real son of Auld Scotia, and a native of Aberdeenshire, sparked the Highland Games at Fergus. Being thoroughly familiar With the Highland Games at Braemar, Rothienorman and Aboyne before coming to this country, Mr. Robertson was a perfect choice to manage the games at Fergus, and by his capable leadership, these have grown into one of the finest gatherings of the type in Ontario, or for that matter, in the Dominion.

It was a happy and fortunate move by the local committee When they were able to prevail upon Mr. Robertson to assume the post of manager for the local Caledonian Games, and it is to be hoped that this brave Scot will long remain identified with this organization.

So, meet Alex F. W. Robertson, the gentleman depicted on the right of this page.

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Paisley Caledonian Games
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