Tag Archives: branch 192

It Takes a Lot of Wind to Blow a BagPipe

It Takes a Lot of Wind to Blow a BagPipe




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?




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Oct 1961, Mon,  Page 20


The Carleton Place Kazoo Band — Great Moments in Kazoo History

When The Carleton Place Citizen’s Band Came Marching in to Lanark

And the Carleton Place Citizens Band Played On For Leah Bryce – Jean Craig — Irene Chamney– and Ruth Brown

The Beckwith Highlanders and “Humpy Billy” Moore

I Belong to Glasgow in the Month of August


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We Need Loonies for the Carleton Place Legion–Branch 192


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As a child I remember a time when my families branch of the Royal Canadian Legion was packed. Members and families flocked to the Davignion Blvd Branch #99 building in Cowansville, Quebec each week without fail. Those were memories of good times, but today the times are different.


It’s no secret that our Canadian Legion branches are struggling to survive. Sadly, it’s not only an issue of fading veterans and difficult fund raising– it just seems to be a tragic sign of the times. For anyone that doesn’t realize what a Legion is or was, it’s just isn’t a club for veterans and drinking. Once upon a time it was the centre of many communities. Think back to the times you went to a legion hall for weddings, Christmas parties and other events. I am sure there are very few of you that don’t have a passing memory.


Ontario has approximately 415 Canadian Legion branches and about 140,000 members. A lot of those very legions now face infrastructure issues, including our very own Branch 192 in Carleton Place. Member attendance has become a difference between the two eras. Instead of spending five years in the service, it’s seen more as a career option now. It’s a different time.

There are about 10% of these very dedicated branches that are closing annually now. Participation and fundraising is down. Branch 192 is trying to do more with a lot less people, because of the aging veterans. The survival rate is presently five years for some of our Canadian legions. Do we want Branch 192 in Carleton Place to suffer the same fate?

Our Carleton Place legion is now left to figure out how they can continue to serve the community and veterans, while remaining viable and keeping the lights on and the leaks out. Branch 192 of the Royal Canadian Legion is turning to the community for help due to mounting financial pressures. Just one loonie from each person in Carleton Place could solve a lot of problems. Don’t let the taps play out for our branch.



For more information about the legion or to make a donation, contact Brian Comeau at bc3comeau@gmail.com or call the legion at 613-257-1727.

Let’s do it for our dedicated Legion members and for Ron Roe that once set up the Hall of Valor

Read Tara Gesner’s interview with Brian Comeau here.

Let’s Break the Internet! Make Carleton Place’s Branch 192 Legion Video Go Viral!


Thank you to the Carleton Place Legion Branch for creating this video. What a beautiful, supportive town we live in. Enjoy and let’s share it everywhere and make it go viral! If the Kardashians can break the internet, so can we! Let’s break the Internet for the Carleton Place Legion!