Antigonish honours Scottish heritage with cairn for Special Olympics cauldron
Published Tuesday, July 10, 2018 3:42PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 10, 2018 3:48PM ADT
Organizers of the upcoming Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish have created a unique cauldron to hold the Olympics flame.
It's a tribute to the town’s Scottish heritage and it was built by stonemason Francis Arsenault and his son Matthew.
“Been working at it the last, probably, month, off and on,” said Arsenault, “Waiting for stones to come in from different provinces.”
The stones are for a Scottish cairn that he’s building for the games that start in Antigonish July 31.
Once a bowl is installed at the top of the hollow structure, it will be used to house the Special Olympics flame.
There will be a stone from every province, territory, parliament, and local First Nation.
“A cairn is a group of stones together to mark, you were here, we will remember you,” said Mary Farrell, Special Olympics opening and closing ceremonies chair.“So we asked friends and family with Antigonish connections, all across Canada, to send us stones. And they have stepped up for us … so, Antigonish rocks.”
Approximately 1,500 athletes, coaches and staff will be taking part in the Games.
The cairn will stand in a courtyard at St. Francis Xavier University, in full view of the main field of events.
“Imagine an athlete coming and finding a piece of home here, while they are participating during the games,” said Farrell.
Arsenault feels proud to be a part of Special Olympics history.
“It's exciting to do something like this, yeah. It's something different, sure,” he said. “It’s a project that you're not going to do it every day.”
There's a cairn park in downtown Antigonish with a number of monuments honouring Scottish clans. At the end of the games, the Special Olympics cairn will be placed there as a lasting legacy.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.