Woodland This Month

It's April and we're gearing up for our annual invasion of Woodland on the 25th. We'll be in the usual place with some new and interesting items, including our new sgians and the leather pipe cases, which are now in stock.

Until further notice we will no longer be carrying the Grant's of Dalvey line of flasks and cups. It's unfortunate because they really sell. They've gone all snooty on us, and when I tried to make an order I was told that we're not a toney enough establishment to carry their line anymore. Screw that!

On the plus side, the leather pipe cases are in, and both styles are really beautiful. The hard leather case is extremely roomy, with plenty of space for chanters, reeds, maintenance supplies, and just about anything else including your lunch! We're thinking of adding a partition in the bottom to keep everything from moving around. The soft cases are also roomy, with five outside pockets for your extras. A real bargain for $189.95!

Sad to report the passing of Big Ronnie Lawrie on March 24th; his death marks the end of an era. All the Big Yins from the 1950s and '60s are now gone...Ramsay, Burgess, MacAllister, MacFadyen, MacDonald(s) - all having a dram and some craic together. I first met him in Mallaig in '72, where he won the day at the Games there; he judged at the Dan Reid about nine years ago; a kind and gracious man.

Also we must remark on the passing of Charlton Heston on April 5 - he was a proud Fraser, and took part in the International Fraser Gathering in 1972, where he stuck his cromach into a burn and tried to change it into whisky...needless to say, the distillery business still thrives in the Highlands!

We hope to see Black Part at Woodland, unless he gets shanghaied to Aruba....lo and behold, there he is on the horizon, guns double-shotted and ports open!

Rarely has, and rarely does  Ol' Black Part speak as President of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA, but this is a rare occassion....

At the last AGM held in November, the branches of the WUSPBA were all promised additional money from the WUSPBA to promote piping and drumming within their geographical areas.  So far....more money is NO MONEY!  None of the baranches has recieved any funding at all.  Now dues were supposed to be turned in by the member bands, contest sponsors and solo members by January 1st. That's over 3 months ago!  So what's the delay?  

Last year, the Southern Branch offerred $100.00 scholorships to pipers and drummers to attend any of the three piping and drumming schools held within its geographical area.  We also sent in donations to help these schools and their sponsors with expenses for these schools.  Finally, we were able to send two 'ambassadors' to special events they were asked to perform at on behalf of the Southern Branch and the WUSPBA.  The Southern Branch used nearly $1400.00 of its funds to promote piping and drumming last year.  This year, with only limited funds available, and no new funds sent in, the question is will the Southern Branch be able to do as much?  The answer is NO!

And this makes 'Ol Black Part angry!  VERY ANGRY!!!

The Southern Branch is the largest of the branches of the WUSPBA.  We have more member bands than any other branch.  We have more solo members than any other branch.  We have more conrtest sponsors than any other branch.  Just under half of the funds collected annually by the WUSPBA in the form of dues and contest fees originate from the Southern Branch, and that figure
is about $13,500.00 +/- a few hundred dollars.  The Southern Branch is supposed to get about 10 % of this back from the WUSPBA, but as I've said, so far.....NO MONEY!!!

Well, the Southern Branch has had about enough of this BS!  Send the money NOW!  It must be sent, and funding must be available NOT LATER THAN May 1st.  Otherwise, with another meeting of the Southern Branch scheduled for Saturday, May 24th, this will be the number one topic of discussion.  Two alternatives of this discussion are likely:  First, next year the bands, soloists, and contest sponsors will be asked to send their dues and fees to the Southern Branch Treasurer, NOT the WUSPBA Treasurer.  The Southern Branch Treasurer, after the dues and fees are collected will deduct the funding due the Southern Branch, and send the balance to the WUSPBA.  That way we get our funding 'up front'.  If the WUSPBA doesn't like that, the second alternative is that bands, soloists, and contest sponsors determine that it is time for a new association; say maybe the
Southwest Pipe Band Association, or the Southwest Piping & Drumming Association, and we pull out of the WUSPBA.  So there you have it!  To the Executive Committee of the WUSPBA:  Send the money to the branches NOW!  Or it's.....MUTINY!   Ahrrrrgh!!!!

Ol' Black Part

(The management of Cuillinn Craft takes NO responsibility for any editorial statements made by John Eric Partanen PhD. Any and all comments should be directed to BLACK PART)


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