Volume IX Number 4


Once more into the breach, dear friends...yes, it's Dan Reid time again on Saturday the 13th; and, at the end of the month, we pack up for our annual trek to Woodland on the 27th-28th. We hope to see many of you Left Coast types there.

This month marks our official FIFTEENTH anniversary of being in business...or ist it a business??? Hmmm, the Infernal Revenue Service seem to think otherwise! Time to file another extension and start sorting through invoices - again!.

Sad to report the death of Jack Dunbar, bagpipe maker, on April 13. Long a fixture of piping in Canada, he was one of the pioneers of polypenco thirty years ago, along with Warnock and Gordon Tuck. Jack was one of the last surviving craftsmen from the Henderson shop in its heyday. He moved to Canada over fifty years ago and started making pipes there. I had several long conversations with Jack a few years ago; he was a gentleman, and he will be missed. He leaves his business in the capable hands of his daughter and son-in-law.

Also now gone is Jimmie Tweedie, who died in March in Edinburgh. Another of the 'old guard' of pipemakers, his firm is now run by Brian Donaldson.


Well. I'm back from my vacation to Scotland and England. While in Scotland I attended the Piobaireachd Society Annual Conference in Bridge of Allan. Some pretty interesting talks were presented, but of even more interest were the presentations, and partial performances of the set tunes for Oban and the Northern Meeting. Also the Iain MacFadyen lecture the Friday evening before the conference was wonderful, and included some great performances as well. Also at the lecture, J. Forrest Decker, who is attending University in Glasgow.  Always good to see Forrest.

After the lecture, back at the pub in Bridge of Allan I was asked to play. I gave them The Middling Spree along with a couple of 2/4's. The next evening I performed again and presented The Waking of the Bridegroom, a tune found in the David Glen's Collection. Most had not heard either of the tunes. Always fun at these meetings. But next year I guess I'll surprise them all and perform a tune they all know.

For those determined on travelling to Scotland I say go, but not with a band! Why stand around in the pouring rain with little or no facilities for the opportunity to play for 8 to 9 minutes? Go and see the country! Go and attend some contests! Go and get some lessons at the College of Piping or at the Piping Center! Go and compete if you dare! Or go like Forrest for the opportunity of a lifetime! Go with a band? No!! Not enough return on your investment!!

Now here's a bit of really interesting news.  An article in the March 11, 2002 edition of the Hearld (a Glasgow newspaper) states , and I quote, "Trust in the soup over a Campbell" The article starts off, "Three centuries after the Massacre of Glencoe, a Campbell has been appointed head of a new visitor center which commemorates the slaughter of 38 members of the MacDonald clan." Wait now, there's more: "The appointment of Mr. Campbell who works for the trust in Edinburgh was greeted with disbelief by Hector MacDonald the Highland historian." He says, "I honestly don't believe it. Only a quango could think up something like this. It's amazing."

Well Hector, you should meet some of the quangos running the WUSPBA! Voting rights abridged, a direct violation of the U. S. Constitiution. And drummers on the Advisory Committee that determine if pipers are qualified to judge piping contests. Even worse, there are Drum Majors on the committee making decisions on which pipers are, or not qualified to judge. Yes, there seem to be quangos everywhere we look these days. But when quangos run organizations, they attract and appoint only more quangos! Alas!

Black Part