First Year of new and compliant Constitution:
The new and compliant Band Constitution was passed at the 2012 AGM in April of that year. As President, I have endeavoured to follow the constitution to the letter and effect change to some of the ways the Band was administered in the past. Committee and General Meetings have been held regularly and in a formal way. This includes having the Financial Records audited by an independent person to be presented to this AGM.
The Band has conducted a number of fundraising activities over the past 15-16 months. These have included: Olive Oil drives; the 2012 Social Night and associated fundraisers; Two Bunning’s BBQs; and a successful 2013 Playford Council Grant application. The Band also had a number of successful engagements.
New Items of Uniform and drums:
In mid-2012, the band purchased a new Andante Bass Drum and two Andante tenor drums. Their acquisition has been beneficial to the sound of the band, although the learning curve regarding tuning of these new drums has been a long and continuous one. (this is not a criticism)
Since December 2012, members have considered a range of matters related to the introduction of new items of uniform at a number of General Meetings called to consider these changes. These matters have included: removal of hose tops, spats and hair sporrans from the band uniform; the introduction of Ancient Blue long hose, short sleeve blue shirts and navy vests; the selection of two styles of dress sporrans (day and evening wear). The band also purchased new and matching glengarries and glengarry brooches and bagpipe bag covers for the band.
Members – new, losses and learner program
During the year we have welcomed Monique Seymour (drummer) and BJ Baird (piper) into the band. We have lost a number of members as well: Craig Dawson-moved to Canberra; and, James Feeney, David Pound, Leigh Brown; Claire Brown and Nicole Brown all resigned from the band over related matters.
Members are to be commended for their efforts in recruiting new learners. Learner Pipers include: Luka, Monique, Shannon and Steve. Learner and new Drummers include Will, Dan, Matt, Ben and Shahnan. We look forward to seeing these learners transition into the Band and become active members.
The purchase of the new mid-section drums was made possible by a successful Playford Council Grant in 2011. We have again been successful in obtaining $1200 in 2013 to purchase a set of bagpipes for use by learners. This purchase is currently under consideration by the committee.
Workshops for other bands:
The members of the Broken Hill Cameron Pipe Band and the Mildura District Pipe Band were appreciative of the efforts of David Pound, Willie Dowie and myself, when we conducted a successful weekend workshop for these Bands in Broken Hill in April. I had already completed a pipe maintenance weekend in Broken Hill in January.
The focus of the weekend was on sound and performance. The snare drummers were all learners. Good progress was noted over the weekend. A follow up weekend was discussed, but no plans are currently underway. There was also discussion related to the 3 bands working up some common tunes with the view that they might combine from time to time for significant engagements.
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 15 months.
The band is fortunate to have capable and conscientious band leaders. The Band and Pipe Corp has been ably led by P/M Willie Dowie and ably assisted by P/S Andy Thomson. The drum corp was also ably led by David Pound until recently and we look forward to seeing the results of Jeff Timmings’ work in the D/S role in the future. Certainly all the current signs are very good.
I would also like to thank Jim Smith for his tutoring of learner pipers. Jim willingly gives up his time twice a week to tutor our learners. I know the learners really appreciate his abilities and patience. So do we! Thank you to Jim!!
We can now look forward to a period of band growth and development over the next 12 months. All the current signs are good and we look forward to seeing a larger and strong band turning out at engagements later this year and in 2014 and beyond in particular. The band will pass a significant land-mark in early 2015, marking 50 years since it was formed. It goes to show that through thick and thin, a band with cooperative and hard working members can prevail.