B.C. Pipers’ Newsletters of 1981

The Historical Newsletters page has been updated with the release of archival B.C. Pipers’ Newsletters from 1981.

Besides the regular news of competitions and results, BCPA Life Member Bill Elder has compiled the following interesting news of that year:

  • Jean Bokenfohr appointed as Newsletter Editor
  • Jimmy McIntosh and Murray Henderson to adjudicate the 49th Annual Gathering. They hold a piping school and recitals. Buddy Maxwell to adjudicate the drumming events.
  • Several BCPA luminaries pass away during the year
    > Dave Westie, Pipe Major of the famous Powell River Pipe Band for 26 years
    > John M. MacDonald, BCPA Board member, adjudicator, and custodian of BCPA’s archival tape recordings of the Annual Gathering senior adjudicators
    > Sebastian (“Seb”) Nelles, BCPA Life Member, long time Association Pipe Major, and member of many local bands over his 92 years. He attended almost every piping event around the circuit for many years.
    > Pipe Major Edmund (“Ed”) Esson M.B.E., E.D., C.D. Pipe Major of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Pipes & Drums for 28 years. PM Esson was a founding member and the first Secretary of the Association, a Past President and Life Member. He was also the Senior Military Pipe Major in the British Commonwealth. A great deal of history about P.M. Esson can be found on the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada website.
  • Particular piper (who is now a BCPA Life Member) begins to appear as a prize winner in the Novice grade (Bruce Woodley)
  • BCPA Active Membership is $5.00, Junior Membership is $2.50
  • Ken Eller, Pipe Major of the Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band of St. Catharines, ON adjudicates the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band Festival
  • Three tunes: The Fanning Mill or Hills of Heather by George Cairns and So Long John and The Stony Way by Donald Varella
  • The Korg (Bagpipe) Tuner is mentioned in a Gaelic Shop Scottish Imports ad
  • Results of the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band Festival
  • Results of the 49th Annual Gathering
  • Finals of the Professional Piping Knockout, Rob Menzies vs Terry Lee, with Terry winning the event on his first attempt. The Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band and the Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario award the winner a trip to compete at the William Livingstone Sr Invitational in May.
  • Terry Lee wins the MacCrimmon Memorial Cairn for Professional Piobaireachd at the Annual Gathering on his first attempt.
  • Western Pipe Band Association introduces a new band grade, Grade 4, and sponsors it at their annual pipe band contest. Intended for bands that have not competed before, the music requirements are 8 to 10 parts of marches, any time signature.
  • BCPA decides to establish a piping library containing music books and tapes and negotiates with the Vancouver Public Library to hold the collection in its Fine Arts section
  • A new junior band forms (Kisimul Castle Pipe Band) and another celebrates their Silver Anniversary (White Spot Pipe Band)
  • Announcement of the City of Port Moody Pipe Band becoming the new Simon Fraser University Pipe Band in April. achieved under the auspices of SFU soccer coach John Buchanan under appointment by SFU President George Pedersen. Scholarships are available for pipers and drummers attending SFU and playing with the band. In the fall, the band to appear in its new tartan, Ancient Clan Fraser.
  • Announcement of the new Adult Piping grade and events at the 1981/82 Fall and Winter Mini-Gatherings. Intended for adult aged pipers who have not won a prize in competition, the music requirements are a 2/4 March and a Slow Air & 6/8 March
  • Several Pacific International Highland Games Association reports. Winning a Pacific International Trophy was like winning the Grand Aggregate nowadays.
  • City of Victoria PB captures 6th place at the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships.
  • Vancouver Ladies PB captures the Grade 2 North American Pipe Band Championship
  • Jack Lee wins the Gold Medal and Former Winners’ MSR Silver Star, Amy Goble wins the Silver Medal, and Bill Livingstone wins the Clasp at the Northern Meeting in Inverness, completing a Canadian sweep of the major prizes. Jack returns home and is taken from the airport to a celebration in his honour.
  • In conjunction with the November 6 Knockout competition, a Jack Lee Appreciation Night is held with BCPA President Bill Lamont presenting Jack with a Life Membership in the BCPA. Jack performed his winning tunes from the Former Winners MSR competition.
  • 16 pipers enter the 1981/82 Knockouts.
  • BCPA proposes revised by-laws that include a new category of membership “Pipe Band Membership” to be approved at a Special General Meeting in January 1982
  • Jim Wilson’s article about Jack Lee’s involvement in shaping the success of the C.P. Air Pipe Band (Grade 2) and the Richmond Pipe Band (Grade 3) as they competed and won prizes in Scotland.
  • The SFU Pipe Band, under PM Terry Lee and DS Davie Bruce, wins the Grade 1 event and the drumming at the Triumph Street Pipe Band contest, placing ahead of both the Triumph Street and City of Victoria Pipe Bands for the first time

Please note: During the years from 1976 to 1982 the numbering system for the Newsletters became a little erratic. We will print copies in the order that we think is correct. If anybody has Newsletters from this era and notices a missing issue, please let us know.