by: Maria Thompson
James Thompson, President of the Caledonian Society of Restigouche, is passionate about promoting Scottish culture in Northern New Brunswick. His most recent undertaking is to launch a fund-raising campaign to erect a monument in memory of the original Scottish settlers to the region.
In researching his ancestors Mr. Thompson has discovered that a large number of settlers arrived in the region as a result of the Arran Clearances of 1829-1840. This was an expulsion of Scottish farmers from the Isle of Arran in Scotland. The Duke of Hamilton merged their smaller farms to create larger units and displaced many families. They came to Canada in boatloads, the largest group of more than 400 landing in Dalhousie, NB to be pioneer settlers of the Restigouche- Bay Chaleur District.
Monuments marking the experiences of such displaced peoples have been erected elsewhere, such as in Megantic County, Quebec, and Lamlash on the Isle of Arran, Scotland (raised in 1977 with the help of the Caledonian Society of Restigouche). In 2007 a sculpture called The Emigrants was forged in Helmsdale, Sutherland, Scotland and duplicated in Winnigpeg, Manitoba in honour of similar Highland Clearances.
Mr. Thompson has contacted the Scottish foundry who cast the two Emigrant monuments, Black Isle Bronze, with the hopes of having a reproduction made to be erected in Campbellton. Anyone interested in supporting this venture is invited to contact James at
caledonian Society of Restigouche is working on Erecting a Monument to the 400 settlers from the Clearance of the isle of Arran, Any one interested in donating please send your check to
Caledonian Society of Restigouche Arren Memorial fund.