A gift of $2,600 to the Armidale Pipe Band has recognised the band’s vital contribution to a celebration of Scottish culture held earlier this year at the University of New England.
The CWA Weekend Country of Study School, held every year in February at UNE, focused this year on Scotland. “An important part of the weekend was the participation of the Armidale Pipe Band,” said Sharon Gallen, Manager of the UNE Conference Company, which organises the event.
“It performed in the welcoming ceremony at UNE’s Earle Page College on the Friday evening, playing ‘Scotland the Brave’ during the raising of the Scottish flag,” Ms Gallen said. “A highlight of the formal dinner that evening was their ‘Piping in the Haggis’ and their dramatic presentation of the ‘Ode to a Haggis’.
“On the Saturday evening the band presented a rousing performance as the centrepiece of a traditional ceilidh, and band members provided accompaniments for Highland dancers and singers throughout the evening.”
Earlier this month at UNE, Ms Gallen and Conference Officer Kath Jacques – on behalf of the University and its Conference Company – presented a cheque for $2,600 to the band’s President, Beryl Leslie, and Pipe Sergeant, Darrell Fisher. (Mr Fisher’s contribution to this year’s CWA Study School also included a talk titled “A journey through the uniqueness of the Scottish Borders”.)
Every February, the CWA Weekend Country of Study School brings more than 200 participants from all over the State to Armidale. This, like the many other conferences and events held at UNE each year, benefits the local community and the local economy. Ms Gallen said that the gift to the Pipe Band – a community organisation – was a specific example of this benefit.
Mr Fisher and Ms Leslie said the gift was “greatly appreciated”. The money will assist with the purchase of uniforms and equipment for the band, which travels widely and performs with acclaim wherever it goes – including, this year, the Anzac Day march in Sydney.
The Armidale Pipe Band is already planning for its 110th anniversary next year.
THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here expands to show (from left) Darrell Fisher, Beryl Leslie, Sharon Gallen and Kath Jacques – with the cheque.