From left: Shona and Siobahn Papalia, Rosemary and Mac MacIsaac
Mother and daughter duo Shona and Siobhan Papalia from Sydney Australia paid our fair village of St. Peter’s a visit this week. The Papalias were in St. Peter’s to meet Rosemary and Mac MacIsaac and pay a visit to MacIsaac Kiltmakers. Although this was the first time that the Papalias and the MacIsaacs had met face to face it was not the first time that the foursome had been in touch with each other. Rosemary MacIsaac, who is one of the best kiltmakers in Canada, has been making kilts for Siobhan since 2000 and corresponding with the Australian family over the internet. Siobhan, who starting dancing when she was twelve years of age and has risen through the ranks as an award winning highland dancer in her own country, was invited to perform at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in Halifax this year and decided to make a stop over in Cape Breton and meet the MacIsaacs in person. The Halifax Tattoo was not Siobhan’s first experience with a performance of this caliber. She has performed numerous events in Australia as well as two other tattoos in Edinburg. Siobhan confided to me that the tattoo was not her only incentive for making her first trip to Canada. It was also her wish that she meet with Rosemary and together come up with a specially designed tartan for a new kilt she planned to order during her time here. This kilt will be worn by Siobhan at the Champion of Champions Competition which will be held in Hobart Tasmania in April of 2012. The competition, which is a major event for dancers, will have 400 competitors for the coveted recognition as thee best in their division over all. The trip to Canada for the Australia duo was a mix of business and pleasure as they wanted to see as much of the attractions and scenery as possible before heading back home. Siobhan assured me that when she receives the brand new creation by Rosemary that she will send us a photo.