Tribute to Willie Fraser
“He was full of faith and full of family and full of fun.”
On March 22, 2015 Willie Fraser passed from us peacefully while listening to Gaelic songs; it was 17 days after his 100th birthday. Willie was a devoted supporter of the Broad Cove Concert and St. Margaret of Scotland Parish. Willie shared his talents of “ close to floor “step dancing learned at the knee of his grandmother and from his dream teacher when he was a very young child. Willie also shared his talents throughout Inverness County, the Province of Nova Scotia and in Scotland, performing and teaching his traditional style of step dancing to enthusiasts from all over the world. He stood straight and tall with his arms relaxed by his side. The emphasis was on the movement of the feet.He was known for his ability to interpret the music. In his later years, Willie also shared his love of the Gaelic language sharing a wide repertoire of traditional Gaelic songs singing at the Broad Cove Concert and at other public events.
Willie married Kathleen MacNeil of Deepdale on August 5, 1947 and raised 12 children. Willie, above all else, was a devoted husband and father who demonstrated every waking day his faith and values to his children. Willie believed in the Broad Cove Concert, not just as a fundraiser for the parish but as an example of what the tradition means to the community - pride in your culture, language and shared stories.
We perform a tribute at this 60th Broad Cove Concert in honour of Willie’s contribution to the Scottish culture and his dedication to our concert from it’s beginnings in 1957.
Performers include: Coiser en Eilean who will introduce the tribute with a Gaelic song. This will be followed by step dancers Maureen Fraser-Doyle (Willie's Daughter) who danced at the first concert, Mary Janet MacDonald, Harvey MacKinnon, Gerard Beaton, the Pellerin Brothers, the Boucher Sisters, Margie and Dawn Beaton, and Clare, Melanie, Lily, Oli, Violet, and Penny Lou (Grandchildren and great grandchildren). Willie loved to dance. As Harvey Beaton said, "It wasn't just the execution of the steps, it was his timing. He was a Gaelic singer, he was full of music. The dance was just another way of him expressing the love of the music."
A Gaelic song with Jim Watson, Jeff MacDonald, and Ronald MacKenzie (three Gaelic singers who shared a mutual respect of the love of song, story, and tradition with Willie) will then be followed by a Scotch Four with Rodney MacDonald, Heather MacQuarrie, Harvey Beaton, and Melanie MacDonald.
Coiser en Eilean (the group that was home to both Willie and Kay and with whom they shared much joy, travel, and friendship) will then sing Song of Cape Breton (Óran do Cheap Breatainn) to close out the tribute to this man who was so vital to the success of the Broad Cove Concert.