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| Band History
Monday 2nd November 1896, the Caledonian Pipe Band
of Southland (pictured) was formed. Now called the
City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band, it is
believed to be the oldest civilian pipe
band in the southern hemisphere.
the only pipe band in the country, it lead the 50th
Anniversary of the Otago (and Southland) settlement
parade in Dunedin,
NZ, on March 23, 1898.
December 1900 New Zealand Premier Sir Richard Seddan,
took the band to Sydney, Australia, to parade alongside
War troops, as part of the Commonwealth celebrations.
band lead on 14 August 1901, the funeral march of
the popular Sir John McKenzie, Minister of Lands.
The procession slow marched all the way to Palmerston
cemetery and took 3 1/4 hours to travel the 6-8 miles!
1912 the band performed at the commissioning of Queenstown,
NZ's, famous Earnslaw steamer.
Pipe Major John Alan MacGee, Invercargill Caledonian
won it's first A grade New Zealand championship at
Timaru in 1952. This was, under top Pipe Major Lewis
Turrell OBE, repeated again in 1979 and 1980.
7 March 1973, the band rooms (including the drums
and many band heirlooms) was destroyed by fire. The
band was due to attend the NZ championships the very
next day! Only quick thinking by President Warwick
Anderson saw the band compete (with borrowed drums
from the Pipes and Drums of Winton). In 1981 the band
opened a new hall. Two storied and debt free the facility
is still one of the best in the country.
1980 the band toured California, USA, as guests of
the United Scottish Society. Representing New Zealand,
the band competed and won the Pacific Coast Pipe Band
Championships. It also performed at many other venues
(pictured) and Knotts
1990 saw the band compete under Pipe Major Trevor
Morton at the 86th McLean Highland Gathering in
Grafton and the South Pacific and Australian Pipe
Band Championships in Brisbane, Australia. It's marching
display inspired a standing ovation
heralded the band's centennial year. In the same season,
due to a general re-grade, the band moved to grade
two but under Pipe Major David Pickett and Drum Major
Neale Smith went on to win the New Zealand championship
in it's home city in March 1997. This was achieved
again at Rotorua
in 1998 and Dunedin in 1999.
in June 1997 Pipin' Hot, the celtic rock show, introduced
an exciting new era (and generation) to pipes and
drums. Full of upbeat settings, rock backing and the
latest in special effects, Pipin' Hot has an annual
5 day sellout season in Invercargill. It has performed
in other NZ centres and in 2001 in Victoria, Canada.
Pipin' Hot was an opening act for Little River Band
in Southland. It also has enjoyed top billing at conferences,
concerts and tattoos NZ and world wide.
January 1998 the band visited Invercargill's
sister city, Kumagaya,
Japan, as part of a civic delegation. Warmly hosted
by the local Friendship Association, the band performed
at the opening of the new Kumagaya Cultural Centre.
August 1998 the band travelled to Scotland to performed
at the prestigious Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It combined
with the Dunedin Pipe Band (NZ's second oldest) to
perform a special display to celebrate the 150th anniversary
of European settlement in Otago and Southland.
As official New Zealand representatives the band also
attended the North Berwick and World Pipe Band Championships.
"Over the Border", a 6/8 march written by
Honorary Pipe Major Lang Morton,
commemorates the band's march into Scotland at Gretna
Green. The band also played with the Edinburgh
Military Tattoo when it performed in New Zealand in
June/July 2001 the band including its backing band
from Pipin' Hot attended the famous Nova
Scotia International Tattoo in Halifax, Nova
Scotia, Canada. It performed an unique display featuring
music from Pipin' Hot. The band also played two
Pipin' Hot numbers during "black-out"
as well as providing the music for the Edinburgh
Tattoo Ceilidh Dancers.
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