Cape Breton University to Confer Honorary Degrees on Four Members of the Cape Breton Highlanders during 150th Anniversary Celebration

On Friday, October 1, Cape Breton University will confer the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, on four long-serving members of the Cape Breton Highlanders Regiment; John William Clarke, Ian Duncan Curry Macintyre, Michael Louis Alteen, and Joseph R. Burke.

“We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding and dedicated members of the Cape Breton Highlanders into the CBU family with an honorary degree from Cape Breton University,” says CBU President David C. Dingwall. “The Cape Breton Highlanders Regiment has such a prominent and substantial role in Cape Breton military history, and to celebrate these deserving members of the regiment during the 150th anniversary holds special meaning to all of us here at CBU.”

On October 13, 1871, the Victoria Provisional Battalion of Infantry was officially organized and headquartered at Baddeck, Victoria County, Nova Scotia. The Battalion, known today as The Cape Breton Highlanders, drew from settler and immigrant communities in Cape Breton Island in the 19th century – largely highlanders of Scottish origin whose families had arrived in the previous decades. One hundred and fifty years later, in October of 2021, the Cape Breton Highlanders are again coming together to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their organization.

The special convocation ceremony is part of the Cape Breton Highlanders 150th anniversary and the Shaping of Canada: Conference on Military and Social History, hosted by Cape Breton University, the Cape Breton Highlanders Association and Atlantic Memorial Park.

“The Cape Breton Highlanders live by an entrenched set of values that all members are committed to; courage, service to humanity, duty with honour and a principle of dignity to all,” says Daniel McNeil, Commanding Officer. “John Clarke, Ian Macintyre, Michael Alteen and Joe Burke are flawless examples of those values and each member has a dedication and commitment to those they have served and continue to serve today.  We are elated they are being honoured in this way and we look forward to the upcoming conference.”

The special convocation ceremony will take place on Friday, October 1, at the Boardmore Theater. Seating is limited and visitors must adhere to CBU’s proof of vaccination policy. The full ceremony can be view through live stream at at 11am on October 1.