Clash of the Regiments
Sunday is the day to come out and watch our Canadian Forces battle for the Tug of War championship!
Tug of War
Please note: The Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games program brochure had an incorrect image for the Tug of War event listing. A picture of Bluewater, a team that is a member of the Canadian Tug of War Association, was printed in place of the intended Clash of the Regiments Tug of War competition. We sincerely apologize for this error and thank you for your understanding.
The sport of Tug of War has deep roots in Scottish culture going back to the Picts and Gaels of ancient Caledonia. The modern sport which is based on 8-person teams pulling a single rope on a grass surface has become a fixture at Scottish festivals and highland games around the world.
Likewise, Scottish culture and practices also have deep roots in the traditions of the Canadian Army with 16 regiments across Canada donning kilts, sporrans, and other traditional Scottish garb whilst maintaining the fighting spirit of the Scottish warrior. Since many of these regiments were first formed over a century ago by the various Scottish communities throughout Canada, their traditions are now as diverse as the clans of Scotland herself.
This year, the Fergus Scottish Festival will be featuring a Tug of War tournament on Sunday August 12th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on the main field involving all 6 Scottish regiments from the Greater Toronto Area and Southwestern Ontario. All of these teams will be comprised of currently serving soldiers of the Canadian Armed Forces wearing their regimental kilts and competing for a grand prize and most importantly bragging rights!
Meet the Competing Regiments!
The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada hail from the Waterloo Region and surrounding areas, making us Fergus and Elora’s own Regiment of Infantry. With headquarters a short drive away in Kitchener, many RHFC soldiers are drawn from Wellington County including the Commanding Officer who lives in Elora. The RHFC was one of three units in Ontario recently selected to take on a new “Mission Task”. As such, we are actively growing and are recruiting soldiers from Wellington County and surrounding areas right now in order to fulfil the Army’s most recent mission for the RHFC: produce an 81mm Mortar Fire Support Platoon for the Light Infantry Battalion for operational deployment overseas in support of Canada’s defence commitments.
This will be the first year for the RHFC Tug of War Team so we are looking forward to “learning the ropes” and putting up a solid challenge to our friends and colleagues from the other Highland Regiments.
The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Own) is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment with companies in Etobicoke and Mississauga. The Regiment was formed in 1915 for service during the Great War and has since served with distinction in both World Wars, has contributed to Canada’s many international peacekeeping missions since the 1950’s, and most recently has sent soldiers to both Afghanistan and Iraq in support of our nation’s combat missions there. Wearing their very distinctive Hodden Grey tartan blue diced glengarries n, the Toronto Scottish maintain one of the best amateur Tug of War teams in Ontario. In keeping with the Regiment’s motto, Carry On!, they will be a team to watch in Fergus this year.
Since it’s founding in 1903, the Argylls have trained for and supported Canadian operations including both World Wars, peacekeeping and Afghanistan.
Among their recent commitments, Argylls have just returned from service in Ukraine on Operation UNIFIER, with members currently serving in Latvia on Operation REASSURANCE, and having supported domestically with the Quebec flooding last year.
Despite a diverse background and supporting community, the Argylls continue to maintain many highland traditions, and when in highland dress, the Argylls wear “the government tartan”.
The Essex and Kent Scottish is a Primary Reserve unit within 31 Canadian Battle Group (31 CBG), whose task is to augment Canada’s military with trained infantry soldiers. The Essex and Kent Scottish is a regiment with old lineage that can be dated to back to 1749 as a French militia at Fort Pontchartrain (Detroit), although it has unbroken lineage dating to 12 June 1885. Essex and Kent counties produced the first militia organization in Ontario and the first units to engage in combat (1794) outside Canada.
The 48th Highlanders of Canada is a Canadian Forces Primary Reserve infantry regiment based in Toronto, parading out of Moss Park Armoury. The regiment is part of 4th Canadian Division’s 32 Canadian Brigade Group.
Ever since its formation in 1891, the 48th Highlanders have had a longstanding tradition of participation in the life of its parent city, Toronto. The regiment has participated in community functions for over 100 years, in addition to fulfilling its operational duties around the world. Since its inception, the men and women of the regiment have been among the first Canadians to step forward and answer their nation’s call. Members of the regiment have served on Operation RECUPERATION, in the Golan Heights, Korea, South Africa, Cambodia, Cyprus, Bosnia, and Afghanistan to name only a few and of course, both World Wars and the Boer War.
As the Army’s primary war-fighters and the core of the combat arms team, infantry soldiers are responsible for closing with and destroying the enemy. Supported by the artillery, regiments of armour and the combat engineers, infantry soldiers are capable of operating anywhere in the world in any environment – arctic, tundra, mountains, jungle or desert – and in any combination of arms, including airmobile and amphibious operations. The unit also boasts an impressive Pipes and Drums Band who participates in engagements around the world.