In commemoration of Brock’s 50th anniversary, an official University tartan was unveiled in front of faculty and alumni on Feb. 10 at Rodman Hall, alongside a complementary scotch tasting.
Many Brock community members came together to show pride and support for the University, as well as celebrate the legacy that it has constructed over the years. Three distinct single malt scotches and a variety of catered hors d’oeuvres courtesy of The Syndicate were made available to the attendees, while each conversed with other men and women that helped shape Brock into what it is today.
Among the distinguished alumni was the man responsible for the creation and integration of the tartan into Brock culture, David MacKenzie, a Dramatic Arts student from the graduating class of 1974.
“I’ve been wearing a MacKenzie tartan my whole life, and so has my mother. I became very interested in family tartans in this way,” said MacKenzie. “The 50th anniversary for Brock was coming up and I wanted to do something big for it. It was a great coincidence.”
A tartan is very similar to a coat of arms in the sense that it represents a familial heritage, distinguishing various families and clans from one another. MacKenzie designed and oversaw the production of the tartan from its inception to the public unveiling. Sticking with the traditional tartan symbolism, each colour on the fabric represents a different aspect of family insignia, with the colours of the Brock tartan representing the University’s namesake, Sir Isaac Brock.
The colours exemplify the British Major General’s uniform that Brock was credited and deserved of but never received, due to his death on the battlefield. Red represents the main colour of his uniform, dark blue represents the lapels, cuffs and collar of the uniform, gold/brass is to signify the four epaulettes found on the uniform sleeve that designate a major general and white represents the pants and other colours found within the uniform.
These colours also correspond directly with that of the coat of arms for the University, as well as the personal crest of Sir Isaac Brock, making the tartan a composite school symbol.
“I think it’s something people can wear with pride,” said MacKenzie. “I’m big on tradition, and while things can often be turned into a tradition, people change it too fast for it to stick. They say that new people won’t understand, but you have to teach it to them.”
“It’s been a very enjoyable process because the tartan signifies the University,” said Emily Hutton, Special Events Coordinator with Alumni Relations. “It’s our new identifier and it has the power to bring everyone together.”
“Being able to launch the tartan for the 50th anniversary with students, alumni and faculty is a special experience,” added Hutton.
The tartan is just another way to define and connect the Brock community. The Campus Store has stocked various items, such as coasters, mugs and scarfs that bear the official tartan image, so pick up your new gear today.