Today, February 13, 2011, the First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, Illinois, is having a Kirkin’ of the Tartan. It’s an American celebration started by the Reverend Peter Marshall and is observed mostly by Presbyterian churches. In my opinion every Presbyterian church should have one annually as it helps people know who they are and where they came from.
Last night the Kirkin’ O’ The Tartan Supper Club held a dinner at the church with good food and fellowship. We estimated 125-150 was in attendance. Tom Boynton was the Master of Ceremonies and Peter Wilkie read some historical Scottish songs. We also had a piper, James McCallum. Later, Greg Drinan illustrated the story of the Black Regiment during the American Revolution.
Our family was welcomed with open arms and all of us felt very comfortable. This is a very large active church with a long history in the Wheaton area. (You can read their history on a very well designed web site.) Their building is just magnificent. The pastor is Dr. Paul J. Kirbas a friendly outdoing younger man who has served in this capacity for five years.
My 20 minute talk centered around the role of Presbyterian Scots at the very beginnings of our nation. I think it was all right and was politely received by the group. After this, we moved to a lower lever and were entertained by Nancy Strolle and her Thistle and Heather Highland Dancers. These young people are always entertaining and last night was no exception. They really connected with the audience.
It was a very enjoyable evening and I appreciate the opportunity to attend and make a small contribution.
Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois St. Andrew's Society
Scottish American History Club