Royal Scots O'Mocha - Memoirs 2009...


Royal Scots Boast Another Successful Year...

Mocha’s Pipe Band, the Royal Scots has had a busy and rewarding year. As in the past, we finished 2008 by playing our usual round of Santa Claus parades. Although often very chilly events, people attending them seem to look forward to the sound of the pipes and drums signalling the start of the parade. In December, we culminated our year enjoying our annual Christmas get-together at the Shrine Centre. After a marvellous dinner we enjoyed more music and song and a few keen players of the horse race game pitted their talents against one another.

2009 started for the Band in January when we were invited to participate in Kilwinning’s Robbie Burns Scottish Appreciation night, topping off the evening enjoying a haggis dinner. In June we were honoured to pipe in the head table atthe Annual Supreme Session of the Daughters of the Nile which was held in London’s Convention Centre. Later in the month, we played at Kilwinning’s Annual Sunrise Service and Breakfast which was held back at the newly refurbished Wonderland Gardens. Another June highlight was the Spring Ceremonial, held this year in Leamington, and we are thrilled that one of the newly minted Shriners, Winston Kooistra has joined us as a side drummer.

Gail MacKay and Charlie Thomson, at the invitation of the Medina Shrine Pipe Band went to Chicago to make the traditional Scottish dinner of haggis, tatties and neeps and perform the Address to a Haggis, for their Highland Ball. We hear that this was a very successful event!

In July, five of our members joined with the Canadian Massed Pipes and Drums for a memorable trip to Scotland where we played for Prince Charles at the opening of The Gathering 2009. This clan gathering was the first in Scotland in over 150 years and turned out to be an overwhelming success. We played in several other venues around Scotland and we were often treated to ceilidhs and civic receptions. Our three week trip ended with the Band playing in the pre-show at Edinburgh’s famous Tattoo. We were then privileged to be able to enjoy the many outstanding moments of the Tattoo with performers from as far away as China, Tonga and Australia.

Once everyone had arrived back in Canada we had our annual BBQ, this year ably hosted by Joan and TexCoulter at their home in London. It was a time of fun and fellowship for the band members and their families.

Over the summer and fall we played at the Arkona Canada Day Parade, the Wheatley Fish Festival, the Bothwell Annual Antique Car Show, the Labour Day Parade in Sarnia, and the Rodney Fall Fair. In mid September the band went to Merrillville, Indiana to participate in the Great Lakes Shrine Association Convention Piping and Drumming competitions. We are delighted to report that every member who entered the competition came home with a medal. The results were as follows: Stew Watt, Piping Grade 4 (4th place), Charlie Thomson, Piping Grade2 (2nd place), Bill Middlemiss, Side Drumming Grade 4 (3rd place), Gail MacKay, Side Drumming Grade 1, (3rd place), Tex Coulter, Tenor Drumming (2nd place), and John McIntyre, Bass Drumming (2nd place).

As we are noticing the trees turn colour, and the nip of frost in the offing, we are resuming our practices, and looking forward to our pre-Christmas events and to another successful year. We are always happy to welcome new pipers and drummers to the Band. We practice on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. If you are interested in joining our unit, please call Charlie Thomson, Band Director 519 537-8585, Ken Webster, Music Director 519 686-0938, or Stew Watt, Secretary at 519 472-4879.