Cape Breton University is honoured to recognize the contributions and community mindedness of Eveline (Dunbar) MacLeod. A retired school teacher and well-respected member of the Cape Breton Gaelic and Scottish communities, she has made a significant impact on Cape Breton culture.
Eveline MacLeod was born in New Glasgow in 1925. She was educated in a one room school house in Lorne, NS, before attending New Glasgow High School. She later went on to attend the Nova Scotia Teachers College, where she studied home economics. Ms MacLeod also studied weaving at the Banff School of Fine Arts, Zeilinski School in Quebec and Thousand Island School in New York State.
After leaving Teachers College, Ms. MacLeod taught home economics in Thorburn, NS, before moving to Baddeck, where she taught biology, history and english, in addition to home economics.
Ms MacLeod has been a focal point in her community for decades. She founded the first Junior Girls Pipe Band in North America under the direction of Pipe Major Fraser Holmes. That Band is still in existence today. She was involved with Girl Guides, taught Highland Dancing, sewing and weaving, in addition to instructing at the Gaelic College and Cape Breton School of Crafts.
She gives to her community in other ways as well, having worked with Rev. Allister Morrison on a project to rebuild the “Margaret”, the first of Rev. Norman MacLeod’s ships to sail to New Zealand. Ms MacLeod has also been involved with the Ephraim Scott Presbyterian Church, Centre Bras d’Or for the Performing Arts, was a member of the Alexander Graham Bell Ladies Club, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Gaelic College. She also founded the South Haven Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, instituted the Baddeck Handcraft Festival, and wrote three weaving instruction books.
In her spare time, Ms MacLeod enjoys reading, genealogy, gardening, birds and is a lover of all things Scottish. Her latest project is writing a book on the heritage of handcrafts of Cape Breton.
Today, Cape Breton University confers the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, on a woman who has a gift for teaching, a passion for culture and history and is a devoted member of the Cape Breton community, Eveline (Dunbar) MacLeod.