Petawawa's new official tartan unveiled
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Mayor Bob Sweet (right) wears a scarf made out of the official Town of Petawawa tartan which was unveiled in a ceremony Monday night. Presenting the mayor with the tartan are (left to right) designer Robert Hinchley and Petawawa Heritage Society members Bob McKenzie and Sharon Rideough, who also co-ordinated the two-year project.
PETAWAWA – The Town of Petawawa has now joined the ranks of those few municipalities with the official adoption of its own tartan.
During Monday night's regular meeting, the predominantly burgundy tartan was unveiled and accepted on behalf of the community by Mayor Bob Sweet, who had to be delighted at the gesture as he is a native of Glasgow, Scotland.
The development of a Petawawa tartan was a two-year project under the auspices of the Petawawa Heritage Society. Sharon Rideough, a re-enactor and society member, proposed the idea to Ann McIntyre, president of the society, while they were sitting by the Leeder Haus one day. Rideough began the process of researching the tartan and working the official channels to make it happen.
“I went through many, many weeks of corresponding with Scotland to make sure that it was original, that there were no others like it and it met the requirements of a tartan,” explained Rideough.
She had to consult with the Scottish Register of Tartans which was established by an act of the Scottish Parliament in 2008. The register is a searchable database of tartan designs administered by the National Records of Scotland with advice from the Court of the Lord Lyon and representatives of the Scottish tartan industry. It includes tartans formerly registered by the Scottish Tartans Authority as well as the information and databases of tartans that complement the Scottish Register of Tartans including records of tartans that have not been registered.
Once Rideough had a concept for a Petawawa-centric, she approached her friend, Robert Hinchley, who designs and craft handwoven tartan scarves out of his home in White Lake. He also designed the official tartan for the Town of Arnprior.
The Petawawa tartan has six distinct colours each with some significance to the area's history, geography and culture. The colours are burgundy (for the mayor and council's jackets), blue (symbolic of the Ottawa and Petawawa rivers), gold (the sand that dominates the area), black (for Highway 17 which connects Petawawa to the rest of Canada), white (for the snow that cloaks the town so many months out of the year), and green (symbolic of Petawawa's military roots and rich lumber industry).
Rideough presented Sweet with a tartan scarf and a commemorative plaque. The mayor thanked her and the society for their efforts to bring Petawawa its own tartan.
“This is a special day, it really is,” said the mayor. “It is not an easy thing to do. You just don't decide to make up a tartan. It has to be official. So I will wear this with a great deal of pride.”
Councillor Treena Lemay, who had early on encouraged the project, felt the society could easily market the design as she was confident residents will want the tartan in some capacity.
“It puts Petawawa in a special spot,” she said. “When other people see the tartan they may want it as a gift.”