MONCTON, N.B – Scottish Maritimers are watching closely as votes are counted in a historic referendum on whether to end Scotland’s 307-year-old union with England.
The Scottish culture is deeply rooted in Maritime history. Scottish settlers arrived on Maritime soil in the 1620’s and people continue to celebrate that strong Scottish ancestry today.
Kevin MacLeod piped a tune Thursday in memory of his late father, who would have turned 73 years old.
“He was proud of his heritage, we watched the pipe bands play at the Christmas parades back in the 70’s,” MacLeod told Global News.
Which is part of the reason he opened a Scottish novelty shop in Moncton seven years ago.
He’s not sure what his father would think as the excitement and anxiety mounts in the United Kingdom. But he says if Scotland gains its independence, it could pay off for his business.
“I hope that the pound drops because we do buy product from Scotland which impacts our gross margin,” he said.
Meanwhile, John Patterson, head of the Greater Moncton Scottish Association is watching his homeland closely too.
“I would say that I am pro-unionist which is against independence,” Patterson said.
He believes a separation could put Scotland’s future economy at risk.
“You’ve got the yes side saying, ‘well we’ll use the British pound’ and you’ve got people at the Bank of England saying ‘no you won’t.'”
Carol Dobson is from the Nova Scotia Federation of Scottish Culture.
“I know that there are a lot of people of Scottish decent in the Maritimes and for some it is a decision of head or heart. Do you go with you romantic ideas of a free Scotland or do you go with the stability of the United Kingdom,” she said.
She’s not willing to choose a side.
“Basically there are so many opinions within the Scottish community that if I came out one way or the other I would have a claymore or a broad sward aimed at me so I am going to stay neutral.”