THE pipes will be calling people down to the mountain side later this month when one of the south-west’s long-serving bands holds a reunion.
Former and current members of the Terang and District Pipe Band will gather at the Noorat Recreation Reserve on the Australia Day weekend for a wee bit of camping, music, food, drinks and plenty of stories.
Organiser Don Drysdale said the band was formed in 1928 with George Moore as president, Norm Murfett as treasurer (a role he continued for 60 years) and Jimmy Blair as pipe major.
“The band has provided lots of entertainment over the years and taught numerous people to play the pipes and drums,” Mr Drysdale said.
He said the years in the 1970s and 1980s were the strongest for the band with 20 pipers and 20 drummers making it one of the largest in Victoria.
The band played at functions nearly every weekend, including New Year’s Eve in Port Fairy and at highland gatherings in Daylesford, Geelong, Portland and Mt Gambier.
The band has also never missed leading the Anzac Day Parade in Terang, with available members always turning up to play.
Mr Drysdale said although the band was now only small, the keenest members also played with the Warrnambool Pipe Band.
Mr Drysdale, who became pipe major of the band at the age of 18, has lived on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast since 1981 after selling the family farm at Boorcan.
“We have had a wonderful response to the reunion, with more than 100 members’ names being added to the list who have learnt the pipes and drums or been a part of the band since 1960,” he said.
He said Donald Blair, the son of the first pipe major, and Rod Gillies, the son of second pipe major Malcolm Gillies, would both attend.
Rodger Reid, who was the Victorian Police Pipe Band’s pipe major, will also travel to Noorat for the event. Mr Reid often travelled to Terang to tutor the band in the late 1960s and 1970s.
“We also have Trevor Smith, who played with the band in 1954, who will be attending.”
The weekend will begin at 11am on Saturday, January 24, with a luncheon and dinner and then continue through to Sunday with a sausage sizzle. Camping is available at the reserve.
Anyone who has had anything to do with the band or the Caledonian society is most welcome to attend,” Mr Drysdale said.
He urged people to bring their instruments and join in the fun of playing in a band again.
“If you also play any other instruments, we would welcome you bringing those as well to entertain us. Bruce Twaddle will have the bass and side drums there for the drummers.
“Maybe the reunion will reignite the band.”
Further information is available from Mr Drysdale on 0417 722 636 or by email to email@example.com