Jean MacInnes was born in 1936 in the 6th Concession of Kenyon Township to Peter MacInnes and Greta Kippen. She attended local schools in Baltics’ Corners, Cornwall and Maxville and finished her high school at Fisher Park in Ottawa. She attended Business School and was employed at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and later as a Legal Secretary in a law firm in Ottawa.
She started her highland dancing career at the age of seven years taking lessons from Joan Gormley. When the family moved to Cornwall, she took lessons from Norma MacNeill, but when she returned to Maxville, she continued with Joan Gormley. Jean attended her first competition at the Lachine Highland Games and earned her first medal. The Judge that day was Chrissie Hind from Scotland, then living in Montreal. Peter talked to Mrs. Hind after the Games and persuaded her to come to Maxville each week to teach and she started classes in the Fall of 1948. These lessons enabled Jean to hone her dancing skills and learn other dances that were essential to know if one wanted to compete successfully.
Jean’s first competitions were at Lachine and Fergus in l947. In 1948 she competed at the first Glengarry Highland Games which were founded by her dad, Peter MacInnes. That day she won three firsts in the Highland dances, but didn’t know the Jig and Hornpipe so couldn’t claim the aggregate trophy. Mrs. Hind taught her these two dances and the Reel of Tulloch which she danced with three other girls. Mrs. Hind was a very talented lady and organized a concert in the Community Hall in Maxville; she and Jean danced a Dutch clog together.
Jean won approximately one hundred medals in the days when there weren’t any indoor competitions, just Games in the summertime. She won many trophies – the MacEwan Cup, MacDiarmid and Barton trophy, and the McDougall trophy at Maxville. There was a trophy awarded to the dancer with the most number of points in Embro and Maxville which she won in 1952. When she went to Ottawa, she danced in the newly-formed Ottawa Highland Dancing Association competitions which were held during the winter months. She won thirty certificates which were given in place of medals because of lack of funds and she won the aggregate trophy for two consecutive years and she competed at the Central Exhibition and won the Aird Trophy for two consecutive years.
When she started dancing in Ottawa, many of the competitors persuaded her to teach as they felt that she had the skills and finesse that they wanted to learn. She taught for three years in her home and many of these students became medal winners under her teaching. As a young girl, she taught classes in Apple Hill, Alexandria, Ottawa, Maxville and after she was married, in her home and Laggan. Jean’s interest in teaching was to bring students up to competitive level and all lessons were given individually. She also took piano lessons as a young girl and is now taking chording lessons from Ashley MacLeod and accompanies her granddaughters.
Jean married James Campbell in 1956 and they have four daughters, Karen, Lynn, Patsy and Sandra as well as ten grandchildren. The girls were all given music lessons and dancing lessons. Lynn became an accomplished piper with the Glengarry Pipe Band and Patsy was an excellent dancer with the MacCulloch School of Dancing. Two of the grandchildren took violin lessons from Ian MacLeod and Kevin McLeod plays the pipes in the grade 4 Glengarry Pipe Band.
An avid curler, Jean served as President of the Maxville Curling Club, President of the Kenyon Agricultural Society main board and President of the Ladies’ Division of the Fair Board and is still a director of the Ladies’ Division. In 1996 and 1997 she was President of the Glengarry Highland Games. It was a great honor for her to be President of the fiftieth Games as her father was President of the first Games in 1948. Prior to serving as President, she worked on the dancing committee and then became Chairperson of the committee in 1970. She held that position until 1996 and still helps with the dancing the day of the Games. She now is the Historian for the Games along with Connie Blaney.
Jean and James were dairy farmers and retired in 1985. They now live in Maxville have a very full life curling, golfing, bowling and playing bridge.