Press Releases

Southern bagpipers back from Scotland

Kirsty Macnicol
The Southland Times
September 01, 2000

FOUR Southland bagpipers returned this week from a hectic month in Scotland performing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Territorial soldiers Royden Brown, of Otautau, Lawrence McKerchar, of
Lumsden, Wayne Duncan, of Waikaia, and Mervyn Gunn, of Myross Bush, were invited to swell the ranks of the Pipes and Drums of the Wellington West Coast and Taranaki Regiment at the tattoo's 50th anniversary. Mr Brown and Mr Gunn were both members of the City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band that performed at the tattoo in 1998.
Mr Gunn said the first engagement was a royal tribute for the Queen
Mother's 100th birthday.
This was in a tattoo format and performed at Edinburgh Castle. It involved 11 British regimental bands and eight regimental bands from around the Commonwealth. It took three full days of rehearsal for the one-off show.
The band then had three days off before learning a new set of tunes and marching displays for the three-week season of the Edinburgh Tattoo.The cast featured the most pipe bands ever _ eight from Britain and seven from the Commonwealth.
Other acts included Canadian Mounted Police (without their mounts), a Maori concert group from Rotorua, a Zulu dance team and West Indian steel band.
During the day, the band was invited to take part in several other
activities, Mr Gunn said.
They included street parades through Edinburgh and Glasgow and joining with 10,000 other pipers and drummers for the world's biggest pipefest raising money for cancer care.
The New Zealanders received much media attention due to their unique lemon-squeezer hats.
They also attended the world pipe band championships to cheer on New Zealand's only representative, the City of Wellington pipe band.


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