A random Lanark County Piper
Sheila Romhild looking for any information on the “Elliott Brothers Pipe Band” that was around for 3 Elliott generations and played at every public occasion in the Calabogie area. if you can help please comment or send me an email to email@example.com
“Although many traditional tunes were influenced by the idiosyncracies of the bagpipe (range, ornamentation, drones), the fiddle gradually evolved as the ideal instrument for cheap and versatile accompaniment. Traditional dances were group dances but the concept of a solo dancer accompanied by a single fiddle is a naval tradition. In the sociological sense, there are few instances where men and women are forced to entertain themselves separately.
In the navy, however, partnerless men were in need of exercise and entertainment. Jigs (especially the spritely Irish tunes) were part of the on-board routine. In Lanark County, the navy-styled format evolved naturally when men were isolated from their wives or girl friends every winter during the timber boom which took place throughout most of the nineteenth century. Throughout the Ottawa valley, regional and national styles were cast together at an accelerated rate”.–Fiddling in Lanark County by David Ennis
Carleton Place Pipers
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)
In 1961 in the space of one year the Carleton Place Pipe Band performer publicly testifying to hours of hard work to turn a bunch of beginners into a competent band of musicians. Ex Cameron Highlander proposed the idea to Carleton Place’s Legion Branch #192 to found a band under the auspices of the local legion. They received permission to use the Legion’s name but at that time the Legion was carrying a large debt so they could not help the band financially.
Bill Keen, a piper of over 50 years from Almonte was recruited to act as an instructor along with one cracked chanter and three devoted pupils. As each of them progressed to the real thing from the chanter and the tabletop they used Bill purchased the instrument needed which at that time was $90 for bagpipes and $70 for drums. Their goal was to play publicly November 11, 1959.
Since money was low there was no extra funds for kilts so they all chose a uniform of Grey pants which everyone owned, battle dressed tunics dyed blue, white shirts and Legion ties. As November 11th approached hours of practise took a toll on the band and there was actually a casualty. One of the junior drummers was far too enthusiastic in learning new twirling skills and accidentally hit himself in the nose drawing blood and a week later lost his sticks when he accidentally threw them out the window.
On the 11th they led the Remembrance Day parade in Carleton Place and in the afternoon the town of Almonte welcomed them. The only mishap was that the bagpipes froze slightly–but after everything they had been through that was only a small mishap.
The group practised over the winter but still the issue of uniforms came up– and the money issue was no better. Instead of giving up they held monthly pipe band dances at the Legion to try and solve the dilemma. Along with the monies from the dances the local bank backed a loan for $1000 and an order for kilts, spats, sporrans and hose tops was placed. The kilts from Scotland took about two months to arrive and the first appearance of a well dressed band was at a Legion Hall dance in 1960. There were 14 members of the band at this point and a dozen others practising under Major McGregor of Lanark. The Carleton Place Bagpipe Band in the end became so much more than a band. What would life be without bagpipes?
Photos by Linda Seccaspina
There is nothing that makes me weep more than the strains of bagpipe music in the air. My late father introduced me to highland music when I was still in diapers. Every Sunday morning “the Scottish Lion” would be crouched down with his ear inches away from the old HiFi listening to bagpipe music at a death defying volume. Through the years he attended every Pipes and Drums Tattoo that came to Montreal without fail.
At age six I was given a Scottish Tartan hat with a black ribbon trailing down my back and I wore it until the fabric became worn and the tartan unrecognizable. Even though we were of British descent the veins of a Scotsman lived in my father’s heart until he died. Because of his love of bagpipes, I try and attend The Highland Games in Almonte, Ontario each year. I long to hear the pipers and watch the young lasses perform their Highland Flings. In my dreams I am the one on stage dancing between the swords with black leather ghilley’s on my feet.
All it takes is one song to live a 1000 memories. Each year when I watch the massed bands march across the Almonte Fairgrounds I relive my youth once more. A life where even though my father and I had differences we shared the love of the bagpipes. I don’t know what it is, but when words fail bagpipe music speaks
” Alba gu brath!” Which means: “Scotland Forever”;
British by birth, Scotland by heart and forever a Highlander in song. What would life be without a little bagpipe?
Come to To The North Lanark Highland Games
Saturday August 27, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
N.L.A.S. Fairgrounds, Almonte, Ontario
Lanark County Genealogical Society Website
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News