B.C. Pipers’ Newsletters of 1960

The Historical Newsletters page has been updated with the initial release of archival B.C. Pipers’ Newsletters, from 1960.

Interesting news of that year included:

  • The inaugural issue in April 1960
  • Pipe Major Neil Sutherland of Winnipeg judged the Annual Gathering, and the MacMillan Bloedel Powell River Pipe Band captured the band award and many of its members captured the Open Piping prizes
  • Prominent BCPA member and Trustee Walter Douglas (commemorated in Pipe Major Donald MacLeod’s 2/4 March composition in his Book 2) passed away
  • Membership dues were $2, and included the monthly Newsletters sent by postal mail
  • Results of the Bi-Monthlies (amateur piping competitions held every two months on a Friday night from October to June, the predecessor to the Mini-Gatherings). A ceilidh was held in September to honour the Bi-Monthlies aggregate winners from the previous season
  • Highland Games ran from early July to mid-August in Nanaimo, Portland, Victoria, Seattle, and Vancouver. The Pacific Coast International Highland Games Association Championships were awarded to the competitors who obtained the highest points in any 3 of the 5 highland games and the winner must use points obtained on both sides of the border
  • An oral history of the founding of the BCPA on July 30, 1932 and the backgrounds of the pipers who attended that founding meeting
  • The origin of the BCPA crest and motto and the BCPA MacCrimmon Cairn
  • The annual White Heather Concert (travelling show of prominent Scottish entertainers) provided great entertainment and funds for BCPA and the St. Andrew & Caledonian Society. Tickets were $1.50 to $3.00
  • An article on the Optimist Boys Pipe Band (the predecessor to the White Spot Pipe Band) goodwill tour of Los Angeles. Their instructors were Albert Duncan (piping) and Don Bellamy (drumming)
  • An article on the Vancouver Ladies’ Pipe Band trip to the Caledonian Club of San Francisco Highland Games over Labour Day
  • Self promotions up the amateur grades were the norm however BCPA received some criticism that some players were reluctant to move up to the grade most suited to their ability.
  • All the amateur grades had an “Old Highland Airs” event
  • The BCPA Life Membership category was added to the By-laws
  • BCPA competition rules were revised for the 1961 season to require submission of two piobaireachds from a defined list of six for the Open Piobaireachd event with the judge selecting the tune just before the player steps on the platform
  • Pipe Major William Campbell, winner of the 1897 Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting and Second Piper to H.M. Queen Victoria, passed away in Haney, BC. He moved to BC a few years after the Queen’s passing in 1901 and greatly contributed to teaching and performing.
  • BCPA competition rules were revised to introduce a table of the number of prizes to award for the number of competitors who played. The table is almost identical to that currently used