Father Doug MacDonald was a multi-time Canadian champion and a true ambassador of the Scottish Heavy Events. His first participation in the Games came as a dancer but he then realized his love of heavy events. Over a stellar 11-year career, he won several titles, including five world championships in the caber toss. His best overall showing internationally – a third place mark – came durng the Games in Antigonish in 2003.

At a young age, Father Doug loved watching the ancient Scottish Heavy events at the Highland Games.  At five years of age he realized he could watch heavy events more frequently if he got involved in Highland Dancing.  He began his participation at the Antigonish Highland Games as a member of Gerarda MacDonald’s dance troupe.  Doug was very popular on stage at the young age of 5 and 6 years, being one of the few boys to take up the dance of the early Scottish immigrants.

A few years later he got involved in soccer, tae kwon do and wrestling, but as a Scot never lost his interest in heavy events.  Doug wrestled and played football at StFX, and after graduating immediately launched into throwing at the Games in 1994.

Marty Gilfoy helped train Doug in the beginning; Jim Sears shared his equipment with Doug so he could practice and Billy Morris saw Doug’s passion for the sport and shared training videos to help his technique.  All three men continued to guide Doug over the years and were instrumental in Doug’s future success. 

In 1995 Doug spent a year backpacking in Europe and a few weeks in Scotland training with Scottish champion Francis Brebner.  Doug returned home and in the summer of 1996, won the Maritime Championship for the first time.  He then moved out West to teach and won the North American Amateur championship in 1997 and 1998. 

Doug turned professional in 1999 and a year later won the World Caber Championship in Waipu, New Zealand – the first World Championship of any sport in the new millennium.  Doug excelled in the caber toss event, winning the title five straight years at the World Championships.  His best aggregate finish at a World Championship was third place overall in 2003 in his hometown at the Antigonish Highland Games.

He was the 4 time Canadian Champion and 5 time World Caber Champion when he retired after the 2004 season as a sacrifice to the Lord to focus on the priesthood.  After eleven years of throwing around the world in places like Brazil, California, Scotland and Ireland, Doug retired as the current 4 time Canadian Champion and current 5 time World Caber Champion at the top of his game. 

In 2008 Doug was ordained to the priesthood.  Fr. Douglas MacDonald, is the Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in North Sydney and is the chaplain at Cape Breton University.

For his accomplishments as an Ancient Scottish Heavy Events athlete from 1994 until 2004, including setting several Antigonish Highland Games records, winning three Canadian championships and for ably representing his community on the world stage, Fr. Doug MacDonald is inducted into the Antigonish Highland Games Hall of Fame.

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