The article following is provided by that wonderful publication, the “Puslinch Pioneer”, which for over thirty years has been dedicated to coverage of Puslinch Township news and history, and yes, most amazingly, is produced entirely by volunteers as a community service.  It is published ten times per year.  To assist with production costs, annual subscriptions of $25.00 are gratefully welcomed.  Please forward subscription requests, with remittances made payable to the “Puslinch Pioneer”, to the Puslinch Pioneer, R.R. #3, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 6H9.




The Plucky Puslinch Six

(from the Puslinch Pioneer, v. 9, issue 1, July/August 1984.)


The Royal City’s streets were deck’d with flags and bunting gay

While citizens and soldiers on this fair Dominion Day

Were mingled with the yeomen from townships near and far

To see old Scotland’s sports and games and famous tug of war.

Fair damsels there had lovers brave among the chosen few

Who for the golden medals were to try their trained sinew;

And sires old and crippled, and matrons bent and grey

With sons and daughters gathered to witness the display;

At last the Pibroch sounded ─ the bands began to play

And to the field of contest the crowd moved on its way.


Old Wellington, the mother of townships claims thirteen (13);

And in the wide Dominion no luckier can be seen

From distant Garafraxa’s wilds to southern Puslinch,

Her fields are fertile and her sons are sterling every inch

Altho’ the invitation was issued wide and far

But two the summons answered to try the tug of war

Bold Erin! oh, how stalwart and strong looked every son!

As if three generations had settled into one

At first McLean, their captain, led till some one cried, “Enough

of that! We’ll have for champion the gallant Johnny Puff.”

It was a sight worth seeing and many hearts took fright

When Puslinch stood before them with men so small and slight;

But in this world of wonders there’s more than one mistake

The anchor, brave Bourmaster, the marvel from the Lake

Was a surprise to many, tho’ his horn he did not toot,

But when it came to staying, it seemed he fast took root.


And Starkey from the plains was there with muscle so immense

He could have pulled two Erinites thro’ any wire fence

And Bell, the ex-Policeman, like a hero helped his chums

As he would to the cooler drag half a dozen bums,

And Dave McNaughton tho’ his strength was greater than his size

Like his uncle, Davie Stirton, showed that he could win the prize.

And Robert Clark, from Badenoch, tho’ tall and very slim,

Showed that the blood of his brave sires was wanting not still in him.

For with Dan McLean, a hero of a clan of Scotland old,

With grasp and steady nature, showed that he was there to hold.


There they waited till the signal from the referee should come,

While their captain gazed on proudly, brave Councillor Meldrum.

But why repeat the failure of that mass of muscles, bones,

Of Erinites, whose efforts were not helped by all their groans

For twice the rope went from them and a cheer would make you dumb,

Went up for plucky Puslinch and their captain George Meldrum.




The poem above was composed and read by Dr. Alex Howitt, of Morriston, at a garden party, where the medals were presented, Friday August 3rd 1899, in the beautiful grounds of Mr. Donald Clark, Badenoch Street, Morriston.



The Puslinch Tug of War Team

(left to right):

Bob Burmaster, William Bell, Jim Starkey, Dan McLean, Bob Clark, & Dave McNaughton.

In the foreground, coach George Meldrum.