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Homeland culture

The attached photo of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was taken in 1955 and portrays both family and historical connections between Canada and Scotland. The lady on the extreme left of the picture is Jeannie Presly, my late mother-in-law. The girl in front of her is her daughter Kathleen, now my wife of forty years.

The photo was taken on the grounds of the Haddo Estate, near the Scottish city of Aberdeen. The man in the kilt is a grandson of the earl of Aberdeen, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1893 to 1898. Kathleen (Kay) was born in 1945 at her parent’s home on the Mains of Aquhorthies, a prominent farm on the Haddo Estate where the laird resided and which is still owned by a member of the Presly family.

The Preslys were founding members and performers of Lady Aberdeen’s choral group, which continued for several generations. The group produced musicals and choral works under her direction, including some written by such notable composers as Gilbert & Sullivan and Mozart. She occasionally invited dignitaries from London to serve as guest conductors, including Benjamin Britten and Vaughan Williams.

The result was to bring culture to the small village of Tarves and its environs, some twenty kilometres from Aberdeen.

Submitted by Robert S. Wright of Fenelon Falls, Ontario.


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