The City of Elizabeth Pipe Band has had a very successful year in 2014/2015and has continued to build on the previous year’s successes on most fronts. We have finished 2014/2015 with more members, more engagements and a well presented and performing band.
The attendance of a few members is a concern – a combination of injury, illness, work and study commitments have kept a few members away from practices and engagements. Pipers and drummers do not grow on trees – we need to retain all our members to the best of our ability into the future.
The Band has conducted one fundraising event in addition to paid engagements over the past year. This was a Bunning’s BBQ on 28 March 2015, with the best profit so far from this activity.
Members – new and losses
We have welcomed new members Jenni Goodwin, Kate Timmings and Rob McGregor in the past 12 months. Two members, namely Aaron Kogler and Matt Petroff are on leave from the band during 2015.
The Band members farewelled Kathy Park at the end of 2014. Kathy relocated to Newcastle, NSW.
Jim Smith has continued to work tirelessly and conscientiously with his list of learner pipers. His efforts are greatly appreciated by the management committee. Steve is also teaching our new learner tenor drummer.
Luka should soon turn out with the band and there are a number of new learners who have started this year.
The recruitment of Olav Goud in early 2014 for drumming tuition has already shown results. Olav said right from that start that his aim was to make his position obsolete. His attendance has reduced over recent months, but his input and expectations are very evident in the corp’s performances.
Jonno McIntyre commenced duties as a Band Piping Tutor on August 2014 and his guidance and input with the pipe corp is obvious for all who listen.
Pipe Bands SA
I have attended the meetings of Pipe Bands SA as a band representative this year and took up the role on the executive of Vice Chair late in 2014.
The State Branch continues to go through generational change with the recent retirements of very long term office bearers: Lindsay Chuck; Christine Gordon; and Rosemary Tully. The Treasurer position remains unfilled. Both the Secretary and VP-rules and admin have been filled at the recent AGM.
A recent extra-ordinary meeting of the Council and College discussed the low support for the Branch activities by many member bands, the number of vacant office bearer positions and the need to build stronger links between the Pipe Bands SA branch and member bands. A plan was developed at the time, but has not been followed through with since. Colin Melville was identified as a possible candidate to eventually fill the vacant VP – Piping position.
Greg Gordon has also announced his retirement as the President of Pipe Bands Australia, a position he has held for 18 years, since the formation of the current national organisation.
Willie Dowie was a successful applicant for a Pipe Bands SA scholarship, which allowed him to attend the Summer School in Sydney in January 2015.
The Band participated in the 2 mini-band and solo competitions conducted by the branch and all members involved performed with credit in all sections. Two members, Monique Seymour and Shahnan completed their respective Preliminary Piping and Drumming Certificates in July 2015.
All band members are registered with Pipe Bands SA, to ensure all members are covered by their insurance policy.
50th Anniversary Dinner:
2015 marked 50 years since the formation of the band in 1965. The dinner to celebrate the milestone was an enjoyable affair. At the dinner, 6 past and present members were made Life Members of the Band. They were: Angus Massie Snr; Angus Massie Jnr; Jim Smith; Peter Whitehead; David Pound; and Willie Dowie. All six have given terrific service to the band and have been instrumental in both the band continuing to survive and flourish.
Thanks to Office Bearers and Tutor:
I would like to express a sincere thank you to all office Bearers for their endeavours and efforts over the past year. The band is fortunate to have capable and conscientious band leaders. The Band and Pipe Corp continues to be ably led by P/M Willie Dowie and ably assisted by P/S Andy Thomson. The drum corp. has also been ably led by D/S Jeff Timmings. Their personal time commitment to the band and efforts are greatly appreciated by members.
Steve and Monique put many hours of work into their respective roles behind the scene and their efforts contribute to the sound administration of the band.
I have also appreciated the efforts of tutors Olav Goud and Jonno Macintyre, who bring their extensive knowledge, skills and experiences at the international level to this group.
I would also like to thank Jim Smith for teaching learner pipers. Jim willingly gives up his time twice a week to teach our learners. I know the learners really appreciate his abilities and patience. Also thanks to Steve for teaching the tenor drum to 2 learners during the past year.
The next Year:
We can now look forward to a period of continued development of the band over the next 12 months. I look forward to hearing what our musical leaders have install for us all in the next year. Certainly, the band is playing better and sounding better than it did 12 months ago. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve in the coming year.