In 1989, a dance troupe with family and friends from various parts of New Zealand, chiefly Auckland, Hamilton and Whangerai visited the Antigonish Highland Games. Some of the New Zealand delegations were descendants of Nova Scotia who left St. Ann’s for Waipu, New Zealand, in the late 1950’s.
The “Highland Games” culture is strong in New Zealand and members of this particular group made a habit of celebrating the midnight before the Waipu Games each New Years with a mass participation “all hands up and all feet dancing” hillside Highland Fling on Donald Fraser;s land overlooking the Bream Bay. For Games lovers, these games are a must to see.
Pat Bourgoyne on behalf of this dancing troupe presented the Antigonish Highland Society with an intricately carved Maori plaque to commemorate their visit. The warrior faces on the shield are inset with Paua (abalone) shells.
The late Peter Ryan of Auckland taught many of the dancers in this group but illness prevented of making the trip to Nova Scotia. To commemorate his work with youth, the trip his mates took, and in in celebration of the links between Nova Scotia and Waipu, is presented annually to an Antigonish Town or County Pre-Premier dancer in Beginner, Novice, or Intermediate who has been chosen by the judges as the dancer demonstrating the “most promise”.
|WINNERS of the NEW ZEALAND PRE-PREMIER AWARD|
|2012||Julia Mae MacDonald|