THE 53rd Annual General Meeting of the Northern Ireland Branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association took place in the Bridge Community Centre Lisburn last Saturday.
The meeting was opened by the Deputy Mayor of Lisburn, Cllr Cecil Calvert and guests from Headquarters included Ian Embelton Executive Officer and Kevin O'Reilly, Chairman of the Association.
Representing the Irish Pipe Band Association were Chairman Ciaran Mordaunt and Secretary June Nolan.
The business of the day included the election of Officers, with the main event the election of a new President of the Branch.
Tom McCarroll who had carried out this role in an exemplary manner was unable to accept a new nomination for this post owing to ill health and family commitments. Tom and his wife Myrtle received the praise and thanks from all members of the Branch for their many years loyal service.
Elected to this post was Lisburn man Councillor Ronnie Crawford. Other officers elected were: - George Ussher Chairman; Winston Pinkerton vice-Chairman; Lorraine McVeigh, branch secretary; Joanne Davidson assistant secretary; Kenny Crothers Treasurer; Walter McKibben Assistant Treasurer; Mervyn Herron Contest Administrator; Mervyn Mayes Trophy Officer; Brian Harvey Chief Stewart and Mervyn McConnell Press Officer.
Stepping down from the office of the Finance Committee was convenor Ernie Clarke from Lisburn, who had served in this role for 20 years. Ernie was made a life member of the Northern Ireland Branch and was commended for his many years loyal and devoted service.
He will still remain as Chief Compiler of the Branch.
More news of the business discussed at the Annual General Meeting in next week's report of the Pipe Band Notes.
One of the top solo piping competition took place last Saturday in the Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena.
The 'Piper of the Year' is an invitation function and features the top 16 pipers from all over Ireland. This was an extra special year for this event as it celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Winner of the March Strathspey and Reel was Jonathan Greenlees from Lisburn who pipes with Grade 1 Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band.
In runner up place was Alan Tully from Dublin who pipes with Grade 1 St.Laurence O'Toole. Third and fourth places went to Andrew Hall and Gareth Rudolph.
Andrew Hall also was placed first in the Piobaireachd section and in the Hornpipe and Jig.
He was presented with a silver mounted chanter as the best overall player. This award was given in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the competition.
Alan Tully was runner up in the Hornpipe and Jig and was voted the Best Junior Piper of the Year.
Also in the prizes were Gareth Rudolph and Clive McFarland who were second and third place winners in the Piobaireachd section.
The Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School and the County Down Section of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association are setting up a new class of instruction for Drum Majors, commencing on the 8 November from 10.30am to 12.30pm. This first session will take place in the new Bowling Pavilion, Linenhall Street Banbridge.
If you wish to be a band drum major or to have a refresher course in all aspects of drum major's work then this is the place to be.
Also, Mervyn Herron, secretary of the County Down section, would be interested in hearing from anyone interested in taking up the role of instructors for this class, either in Marching Flourish or Dress. You can contact Mervyn on Banbridge 4062 4849.