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28 August 2009
Introducing Canon Mel

Tomorrow, Canon Mel Langille will be instituted as Rector of St Regulus Church, Cromarty and welcomed by the community with a supper and ceilidh in the Old Brewery.

Melvin Owen Langille was born in 1958 in Pictou, Nova Scotia and raised in the Scottish Episcopalian tradition as it had been lived out in Pictou since the ship Hector arrived from Ullapool in 1773 bringing 200 Highlanders many of whom were 'Pisckies' who were fleeing the post-Culloden persecution of the Church.

Mel graduated from Pictou Academy (founded in the early 1800s by Dr Thomas MacCulloch who was the local Presbyterian minister at the time) in 1976 and headed off to St Mary's University in Halifax where he earned a B.A. in French and Classical History and a B.Ed. Having already felt called to the priesthood, he enrolled in the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax and graduated from there in 1982 with an M.Div. Ordained Deacon in 1982 and then Priest in 1983, he served as curate in three parishes and Rector of four in Nova Scotia.

Since arriving in Scotland in 2003, he has been priest-in-charge of the Episcopalian congregations of Brora, Dornoch, Kinlochbervie and Lairg, as well as interregnum priest-in-charge of Thurso and Wick. On 1 August 2009 he was instituted as Rector of Saint John's Church, Arpafeelie and Saint Andrew's Church, Fortrose. Father Mel was also elected by his fellow priests to be Synod Clerk and with that was made a Canon of Saint Andrew's Cathedral in Inverness.

Having grown up in a county that boasted seven pipebands (with a father and uncle who played), it was inevitable that he should take up the bagpipe himself. He has played the pipe for over 36 years. Within hours of arriving in Sutherland, he was invited to join the Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band, becoming pipe major of the band in August of 2005. He has taught piping to many over the years, assisted with the Golspie High School Pipeband and was a piping tutor with Fèis Cataibh. He also seems to have become the Diocesan Piper, though he is not sure when that title was bestowed! Gaelic is another passion, and he continues to increase his knowledge and confidence in the native language of the Highlands of both Scotland and Nova Scotia.