Events slated for John Galt celebrations this weekend

In celebration of John Galt Day, the Old Stone Churches, the Guelph Historical Society and the City of Guelph’s John Galt Day Committee, are hosting the second annual kirking.

The John Galt Day Sunday Celebration is set for Sunday, Aug. 2 at 10:30am at St. George’s Anglican Church.

Civic leaders from many faiths, cultures and volunteer organizations will be “kirked” from the River Run Centre to St. George’s Church. 

“Kirking” is a Scottish ceremonial parade of dignitaries led by a piper as a prelude to a civic church service.

This service recognizes the public service of local leaders, expresses hope for their wisdom, and shows appreciation for their dedication to the local community.

This ceremony was practised in John Galt’s Irvine, Scotland at the time of Guelph’s founding in 1827.

Everyone is welcome to attend the service at St. George’s Church at 99 Woolwich Street, Guelph. Attendees are invited to donate non-perishable food items for distribution to Sister Christine’s Welcome In Drop-in Centre and the Chalmers Community Services Centre.  Both charities are supported by the ecumenical group known as CORE (Guelph Churches’ Outreach).  Food barrels will be available at the River Run Centre for anyone who would like to contribute to the food drive.

For more information, please contact either Debra Nash-Chambers at 519-767-9895 or Ann Guthrie at 519-763-6475.

Other activities

Residents and visitors are also invited to attend the City of Guelph’s third annual John Galt Day celebrations on Monday, Aug. 3 at John Galt Park near the River Run Centre.

Starting at noon, organized activities include a flag raising ceremony; children’s entertainer, Doug Barr; musical entertainment led by local Keith Thompson; a history lesson about how the city got its name; canoe races; refreshments; games and crafts. The event ends at 4pm.

The Civic Holiday Monday was renamed John Galt Day in Guelph, October 2006, following a recommendation by Gil Stelter and Peter Anderson, to honour Guelph’s founder.

John Galt was a prominent Scottish novelist who was known throughout the world, and made Guelph a special and distinctive place.

As the superintendent of The Canada Company, a large land company in London, he conceived the idea of building a town to stimulate and direct the agriculture settlement of the area. Galt planned the community with its distinctive radial design, quite different than the gridiron plan of most cities.