Celebration of Life for BCPA Life Member Jimmy Wilson – October 15, 2016

jimmy-wilson-2007A celebration of the life of Jimmy Wilson will be held on Saturday October 15 at 10 am at Valley View Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery, 14644 72nd Ave, Surrey, BC, V3S 2E7

His obituary is located here.

Pipers and drummers are encouraged to bring their instruments to play as a massed band to conclude the celebration.


BCPA Life Member and respected piping teacher Jimmy Wilson passed away on the morning of September 23, 2016 at age 93.

He was born in Dunblane, Scotland, took up the pipes at age 23, and immigrated to Canada in 1953.


Crawford Pipe Band 1956
(Jimmy Wilson, second rank, far right)

He played in the competition Crawford Pipe Band under P/M Ron Foreman in the late 1950s as well as several other community pipe bands in the 1950s and 60s.

However, it was in 1969 when he started instructing the Richmond Boys Pipe Band that his greatest contributions to piping began.


Richmond Boys Pipe Band 1969
(Jimmy Wilson, middle back row)

He taught hundreds of students over decades at his home on Chelsea Road in Richmond, mainly through the Richmond Pipe Bands he ran.


Richmond Pipe Band 1977

In 1977 when the Richmond Pipe Band under his student P/M Bruce McIntosh placed 4th at the World and Cowal Championships in Grade 3, almost all its pipers were taught or started by Jimmy.

It was through his dedicated foundational teaching efforts that many players rose to become world champions in the Simon Fraser University and Robert Malcolm Memorial pipe bands.

Of his pupils, who he taught as beginners through to talented amateur players, were BCPA Life Member Bruce Woodley who won the Northern Meeting Gold Medal in 1993 and the 1995 Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship with the SFU Pipe Band and Angela Burleigh (nee Beckett) who won World Pipe Band Championships in Juvenile, Grade 2, and .Grade 1 with the Robert Malcolm Memorial and SFU Pipe Bands.

Jimmy Wilson being made a BCPA Life Member by BCPA President Angus Macpherson, 1986

Jimmy Wilson being made a BCPA Life Member by BCPA President Angus Macpherson, 1986

For his tremendous service to the teaching of piping, Jimmy was made a BCPA Life Member in 1986.

Pipe bands continued in his family, with his son Alan winning the 1976 Grade 2 Cowal Championship with the CP Air Pipe Band and his grand-daughter Michelle being the first bass drummer for the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band in 1994.


Jimmy Wilson awarding the 2004/5 Mini-Gatherings Grade 2 Piping Aggregate to Alastair Lee at the 2005 BCPA Annual Dinner

Jimmy also served on the BCPA Board of Directors and was a judge at BCPA competitions.

Jimmy exemplified the dedication to teaching piping that has so enriched the piping community in BC. The spirit of his life work in the development of pipers and youth bands will long be remembered.

(Several photos and information courtesy of the “Pioneer Pipers of British Columbia” and “Pipe Bands in British Columbia” publications by Carl Ian Walker)