With its focus on sustaining culture, Cape Breton University (CBU) is fittingly bestowing honour on one of Cape Breton’s Celtic culturists. CBU is recognizing Eveline (Dunbar) MacLeod with a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, during a special convocation ceremony being held at the Gaelic College on Saturday, October 13. MacLeod is a well-respected member of the Cape Breton Gaelic and Scottish communities, who has made a significant impact on Cape Breton culture.
“Those who earn honorary degrees from Cape Breton University embody the characteristics that identify our fine university. Cultural preservation has always been a significant element of our planning while focusing our efforts to be innovative and globally-minded leaders. A culture and history enthusiast, Eveline MacLeod has dedicated much of her life to sustaining Cape Breton’s Celtic roots. Her community passion is inspiring and her work will have a lasting impact for years to come. I am delighted that CBU is recognizing her in this way,” says CBU President John Harker.
A native of New Glasgow, N.S., MacLeod pursued an education in home economics through the Nova Scotia Teachers College. She also studied weaving at the Banff School of Fine Arts, Zeilinski School in Quebec and Thousand Island School in New York State. MacLeod spent most of her career in Baddeck, N.S., teaching biology, history and English, in addition to home economics.
Notably, 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. 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.
The ceremony is set to take place at 5 p.m. following the Celtic Colours Pipers’ Ceilidh. All are welcome to attend the convocation.