In this episode, Elora Fergus Podcast host Ryan Joyce chats with Fergus Lions Club President, Margaret Murray. They talk about 2020 Fergus Home Show cancellation and impacts, what Fergus Lions Club is doing virtually, plus local Scottish culture vs Scotland, haggis and more. Listen here:
On this episode with Margaret Murray, President of the Fergus Lions Club
"Totally challenging times" and the virtual future of Fergus Lions Club
The moments leading up to the cancellation of the 43rd Annual Fergus Lions Club Home Show
Has the Fergus Home Show been cancelled before?
What Fergus Lions is doing virtually in the community
The terms Margaret negotiated with herself upon emigrating to Canada
What do her Scottish friends and family think of Centre Wellington?
Projects she's working on during #StayHome
Margaret's worst Scottish swear word
The must-have secret sauce for Haggis
Listen below to Elora Fergus Podcast Episode with Fergus Lions Club President, Margaret Murray
President, Fergus Lions Club President https://ferguslionsclub.org/
"Has the Fergus Lions Club Home Show Ever Been Cancelled?"
Ryan Joyce: I would be. Is there any Scottish swear words? Margaret Murray: Oh yeah. Just an old bugger. Yeah, it's just normal and stuff. So yeah. Ryan Joyce: have you, well first of all, have you eaten any of haggis or blood pudding? Margaret Murray: it is an absolute delish actually really is. And you know what, there's nothing better than eating haggis with whiskey sauce on top. It is amazing. But I mean you have to go up to some of the highlands out like restaurants away in the Highlands of Scotland that they will give you. And I remember being at one restaurant and nicest hugged us and we'll have whiskey sauce so the chef can Watson out of the kitchen and you picked up a bottle of whiskey. And I says, Oh, just jokingly. I said, Oh my gosh, is that for my whiskey sauce? He says, well, absolutely. Yeah. And it was, did I fall? And the black poodle and the, yeah, Millie, Jimmy's and all of that is, yeah. Ryan Joyce: And you obviously have culinary background behind you. You like to cook, so you cook all these items too, right? Margaret Murray: Yeah, I, yeah, yeah, I do. Yeah. Yeah. So it's a lot of preparation that goes, it's a lot of preparation and really a real Hargus, uh, is made inside a sheet stomach, which is not a ethical, I don't think in Canada, and I know it's bond in the U S but in Scotland, obviously the best targets is inside a sheep's stomach. When you're doing the Robbie Barnes thing in January and stuff, and you really, you don't even eat the sheep stomach. It's just to keep it all together. Yeah. Yeah. What about desserts? What are some of the famous, that was our Clootie dumpling and it's almost like a, uh, a heavy cake that's uh, steamed inside, almost like a mashed cloth is a cloth and just like pies and desserts and squares and a bit everything always has fresh cream, like always fresh cream. So when I go back to Scotland, like you go into all the little coffees because that isn't the Tim Horton's important. Well that is the importance and all of those, all of your little copies are all individually and they all do the old bacon. And so you've got like this massive Milan's honestly would this size and like the filled with cream, like a pint of cream, like 55% or 45% cream whip. It's just like, it's magic knuckle ball. We end to go to the importance, it's like, seriously, this is what I'll buy it, you know, for this. Right. So Ryan Joyce: yeah, I remember the first real international trip I ever did. Um, coffee was not what it was in North America. Coffee was 48 different options and had hot milk and steamed milk and eight different versions of milk. And, and that was when I really love like learn to love coffee at that different level. Yeah, Margaret Murray: yeah. Yeah. So you've got like a Milky coffee, which is like, yeah, it's made with milk and coffee and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. Lots of good stuff and everything. So yeah. Ryan Joyce: Do you have a specialty dish? Like when Amanda and Heather come home, Margaret Murray: since it's not this, which is like ground beef with only carrots and onions and you cook it and then mashed potatoes and yeah, that's, that's a staple so yeah, I just cook it and stop. So easy, easy, easy food that stuff like Home just like comfort food, like warm comfort food and stuff. So, yeah. Ryan Joyce: And so Heather and Amanda are your daughters and they both have history of Highland dancing. Do you, did their mom do that too? Margaret Murray: I never, I never did. Highland dancer. No, I didn't do Highland dancing or you get it? I would do left feet. But Amman, yeah, but Amanda, my oldest one, she, uh, Highland dance. And from the time she was three years old and right up until, I mean 2014 was the last time that she actually danced, but she actually got all of our teachings at the beginning so she could teach Highland Dodson and everything. But since then she doesn't do any Hammond Dodson. But yeah, she loved it. Um, didn't do any competitions because that meant going away every weekend in the summer time when she was younger than soften own and our own business back then we didn't have time and she goes, really, you don't need to go to competitions to get through a fee. She wasn't out to get through phase, it was just more for the entertainment side of it. But she's still got like really strong Scottish background heritage. Like she really still embraces all of the Highland games, all of the dancing. Ryan Joyce: If she could have the accent, she probably would Margaret Murray: still keeps it going. Doc with all of Hab Danson ghettos though in winds up there was a hole and they still get in contact and they still, when they get together, they still all have a dancing scotch dance and things. So, yeah. Yeah. And Heather, well, she doesn't dance, but she skated instead. So anyway, so, Ryan Joyce: Oh, is that what, okay. I, I'll promise. Well, I can't promise, but my last Scottish based question, have you ever played the bagpipe? Margaret Murray: No, I have never played the backpacks. I don't have enough breath in me to do it. You have to start off, I think really young to be able to, um, know how to do the like the fast and then you can go from there and stuff. But yeah. But uh, Ryan Joyce: I've never even put it on. I wouldn't be curious to know how heavy it is. Margaret Murray: No, I don't know. Yeah, I don't know if it's really heavy. It depends on like, yeah, yeah. He'll be able to tell you and stuff. So, yeah. Ryan Joyce: Random trivia. We'll find out how much a bagpipe ways for the next upcoming. So I know we chatted just briefly yesterday before I'm talking here today. You came to Margaret Murray: Canada ultimately in 1977. Fergus I came to Fergus straight on to downtown and it was, um, above the bakery, which is, no, I got social. Okay. Back then it was a bakery by Tom and Mark y'all. And then there was a huge fire and 1977 they would tell him. And then after it was all put back together, then my husband and I can, we bought, we bought the bakery and it was Marty's bakery right through until we sold it in 88. And then, uh, then it was bought over by, what about bakeries are one of our bakers and he took it and run it for another, I think probably another eight years after that and stuff. So yeah. But now there's no bakeries in town and it's got social, and I'll say it, but it's really strange because when you go, and I can sell visualize where like the ovens where when you go downstairs to the basement, um, that's where you'd hang up all your coats. And we had all the bakers implements for hung up and yeah, it's like, it's really strange to see all about and stuff. So yeah, Ryan Joyce: I moved here I think 92 or so. So it was after you had exchange ownership, but I still remember seeing the banner. I can still picture the banner, my, my mind, so I have to go back to when you were in, Margaret Murray: did you specifically choose Fergus? No, my husband actually came to Canada in 1975. He immigrated in 75 and then, um, we weren't engaged with anything at that point and he came over, um, to work in young rate at the time. And then we got married in 77 and I came out and I immigrated and I've never left. Fergus I was going to give, given a year, I thought I'll stay in Fergus a year. If I don't like it then I'll head back. Well, 43 years later I'm still here. So Ryan Joyce: yeah. Now is all your family still back in the original old hometown for you? Margaret Murray: Yeah, my sister still lives and the village that we went to school with, like what is the village? The village is called Fivey, F. Y, V, I. E. And that is actually 32 different spellings of finding. Wow. What does that even mean in my mind is so five years FYB yeah. What does F I Oh, that's, yeah. If you look up Fivey castle because we have a huge castle, which is now owned by the national trust. So it is not open to the public, but most of Fiby is still owned by the land of Fivey. So, uh, he still has a C is too what can be built and what can't be built. And when I left was a, with a population of about, I don't know, 700, 800 people. I wouldn't say there's more than a thousand people, like five has not grown at all keep because he is not allowed. And I think the comment to the village, yeah. Wow. Is he friends with Lord Grantham? Oh I don't think so. So you go back, you do go back home? I go back at least once or twice a year. Um, I was home last year and we did with me coming to Canada when I was so young, I never really did see a lot of Scotland cause I didn't drive a car. So when I go home I always get to go and see somewhere. So last year I went to see the islands of Lewis and hottest, which has all outer Hebrides. So you've got like harvest Tweed, you've got hottest Jen, you've got Louis so stone away. It is absolutely stunning. Doctors must go and see some of the best beaches are more beautiful than the Caribbean. They all got Aqua blue and white signs if they just had the weather. But needless to say, when I was home last year, it was anywhere between 18 and 26 degrees. Oh, go ahead with these switches, like you're in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and stuff. But yes, I go home once or twice a year and my phone, Lincoln was all over once or twice a year and stuff. They're obviously still Scottish native. So what do they think of Fergus? Oh, they love Fergus. Like I've been here for so long and my sister and everybody comes so often that they've actually got a second family here, you know? So yeah, which is, so when I talk with people, I mean after 40 years they know them just as well. I mean there'd be even come to some of my friend's weddings. Now you got interested in Lions when, how long your journey did you get started in? How long have I got? I actually, I actually went to look this, so I joined in March of 2006 when I started and yeah, so it's been like 14 years that I've been a member and stuff. And it was just so happened, there was another gentleman that I worked with my employment, he was a man and he was looking for new people. So he says, come and join. So at the time, so I joined back in 2006 so I've done lots of different things for the Lions Club this be in my third year of being the precedent, which is a challenge in itself. Ryan Joyce: You can only do two or three and then your captor can you go, because you have a dictatorship, can you be the dictator of the, Margaret Murray: well, they actually like you to only be a certain length of time and then pass it on. Uh, unfortunately, normally wanting to take it for the fab. So I said I would take it for Ryan Joyce: what, a year to take it again. My goodness, this has been a challenging, Margaret Murray: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. This has been totally challenging year, like in so many ways because I never did well under the podcast. I've never in my life ever done a podcast, let alone one like conference calling, which I did yesterday and I'm on another conference call and I think this is the way maybe a lot of meetings are going to be held. I know that is another Lions group and they do all of the meetings on a web, on zoom or whatever. So this might be something that we have to do or look at eventually and stuff. But yeah, it's challenging. But we'll get through it and I think we have to keep up with the times. Ryan Joyce: It's great to hear you've already been doing some of the virtual meetings and that is seems to be how everything's moving forward, especially until we find some kind of vaccine. And there was some tough decisions Lions had to make because I mean, as we're recording this, it's, I mean, the Home Show would have been just a couple of days. Margaret Murray: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Ryan Joyce: And so you had to cancel that. And so how many years have you been doing the Home Show and have you ever had to cancel it? Margaret Murray: No. Our Home Show actually started in 1977. Baka wall before in 1978 or 1979 was when the new arena was being built. So as the Lions Club, they, uh, decided that they would need to raise funds. So that's when the Home Show first started. It was back then to raise funds. And then one of the big halls is the Lions club or the Lions side hole that we did there. So that was when we started back then. And obviously there was only like one arena or one hole. I think one hole was all that it was ever made. So this year, um, we would all go, we were having a meetings. We had at least 80 people already signed up, at least 40 of them were brand new businesses that she had started, which was such a shame. And so I was starting to put them all into where they were going to be allocated and the two arenas that that was there when the bombshell happened with the coronavirus. So we held off as long as we could. So our last meeting was like me March the fourth so we were going to have that meeting and then have another one the fall in week cause people were, that stopped into ask what happens if it's closed, what happens if it's canceled? So we held a meeting on the Thursday and then on the 13th of March was when they announced that things were closed. So we had to do then do a whole blood vessel of what we were doing. So we did contact everybody cause at this point we were ready to get the flyers, 48,000 flyers that go out with people that do all the advertising. Well if we went ahead with that then we're going to be out money. So ultimately we cancelled it all, which is a huge, disappointment for the Fergus Lions Club its our main fundraiser that we do for like everything that the client's flying Fergus Lions Club too. Uh, hi. Can we put a hold for another year? So yeah. So this would have been the 42nd or 43rd 45 yeah. 40,000 a year. A bit and stuff. So it's never been canceled. Never been canceled. Yeah. So hopefully by next year, hopefully by, hopefully by next year and everybody that has that, you know, that big council has said we will see you next year. So that's a positive to all of that, that they want to come back next year because it is one of the fast shows or one of the last shows that's saved for the spring time before everything is up and running. So yeah, just tell us some of the things that Lions are doing. Okay. Some of the things we have donated to the Fergus Lions to the Fergus food bank. Um, that's one of our big things, but I think people really need that. We also gave a thousand gloves to the hospital. Uh, they were looking for stuff. So we were on the list, so they call this. So there's a thousand gloves that were given in the month of April. We always do, uh, obviously, um, the dog guides and then me and headquarters is down in Oakville. And so that's always year. And me, that was a dog guide walk and it's sponsored by pet volume who is the main sponsor. So obviously again, it's consult. Uh, we had our walk I scheduled from June anyway, so me, the 30 fast is our scheduled virtual walk as they have now gone virtual. So this was another whole thing he has. So again, you go on to Lions foundation of Canada, um, or walk for dog guides.com and the whole web page is up there. And so then you can click on, go to virtual dog walk and you can donate, you have to register. So obviously you have to put in, get email address and put in a password. And then from there you can donate virtually. You can donate to a Club. So our Club is the Fergus Lions Club. You can either donate to, uh, people that are already registered or you can make up your whole team and you can send out invitations for any of your family and friends and they can join and they can donate that way. So it's all virtual required. Uh, the dog has dr quiet, so I think they'll look at stuff. Lots of people showed up with stuff because at the end of the day, they still have to do fundraising because it still costs a lot of money to, um, train a dog. I took a 25 to $35,000 to train a puppy to be a seeing eye dog or autism or, um, seven different dogs that we all train don't fall. So these still puppies are not good to be born. I mean, they're still going to be born, they're still going to be, um, needed to be trained and fed and all of that. So that's why this walk is so important. So may the 31st walk for Don gates.com and um, yeah, just go on and register. And she was a team. Well, if you don't go, that's amazing. Ryan Joyce: I'll end with this. I know people can get a hold of the Fergus Lions and discover more about you and the organization. Fergus Lions club.org is that right? Yes, yes. Yeah. And you've got all the information there and if they want to become president, that would be their time to, Margaret Murray: absolutely. We are always looking for new members, looking for new ideas, a new fundraising ideas, like anything. Yes, yes. Ryan Joyce: As everybody's staying at home, what is the one thing, I'll, we'll end it at this. What, is there something that you're doing at home or binge watching on Netflix or watching that you highly recommend to, Margaret Murray: I don't put on any television till six o'clock. Yeah, I don't, I, I've made some face masks I read. I know that it's nice weather. I'm outside in the garden and I go for walks so I can keep myself pretty busy. I think I should, could be busier, but this whole web and web posts and podcasts take up a lot more time than I thought it was going do. But anyway. Uh, yeah, but no, no, there's nicer weather and stuff will be better. Ryan Joyce: Very well. Lions is always just out in the community doing as much as they can. And of course now we're all virtually in the community, so, and you're still out there doing it, so thank you so much for everything you're doing. Okay. That's fine. Thank you.