Press Releases

Kindy such a blast for Uncle Derek's fan club

"Uncle Derek" Ballantine performs live and loud at the Rockdale Park Kindergarten yesterday

Kirsty Macnicol
The Southland Times
August 04, 2000

BAGPIPES have been playing a big part in activities at Rockdale Park
Kindergarten in Invercargill lately.
City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band pipe corporal Derek Ballantine, who has two nieces and a nephew at the kindy, has become a folk hero with the younger set. All 30 children now call him "Uncle Derek" .
Two years ago, when the band travelled to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland, the kindy kids followed its progress on a world map.
When "Uncle Derek" and Invercargill singer-songwriter Peter White appeared on television's Good Morning show, the children set up their classroom like a movie theatre to watch it _ complete with popcorn.
White's CD became a hit on the kindergarten playlist while last month's Pipin ' Hot created another frenzy of activity with pictures, stories and posters adorning the walls. Yesterday Ballantine and White gave the children an exclusive performance, the result of a request by Ballantine's niece, four-year-old Kate Pope.
Teacher Jennifer Sycamore said creating positive Southland role models was important for the children's development and made learning fun.
It was also good for them to be exposed to different types of music.


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