Big thank you from

First ever Gordon Duncan solo contest  

THE first ever Gordon Duncan Memorial Solo Piping Competition is scheduled for 28th January as part of the Celtic Connections festival to be held in the Holiday Inn, Glasgow.

There are three pipers invited from Scotland, Brittany and Ireland. Roddy MacLeod, Simon McKerrell and Stuart Cassells from Scotland; Herve Le Floc'h, Sylvain Hamon and Charles Noin from Brittany and Ryan Canning, Andrew Carlisle from Northern Ireland and Alen Tully form the South of Ireland.

The format of the competition will be similar to the piping competitions organised at the Inter-Celtic Music Festival held each year in Lorient Brittany.

Events will be judged by lain McLellan and Ian Duncan (Scotland) Kenny Stewart and Harry Stevenson (Ireland) and Jackie Pincet and Pierre Galais (Brittany).

John Wilson will be the compere for the evening and Gordon Duncan's father, Jack, will award the prizes donated by McCallum Bagpipes.

Gordon Duncan died in December 2005 and was one of the world's most celebrated pipers and composers.

The Field Marshal Montgomery and Scottish Power Pipe bands will take to the stage on Saturday 27th January as part of the Festival.

The first meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA will take place at the new venue of Trinity Methodist Church Hall, Knockmore Road, Lisburn on Saturday 27th January at 2pm. The old venue of the Bridge Community centre will be closed for at least six months for renovation.

It is hoped to have copies of the 'Officials and Programme of Events' booklet available for this coming year at this meeting.

Contact person is Walter McKibben who also has new RSPBA Northern Ireland Branch ties for sale. He can be contacted on mobile 077 9556 1135.

There will be a Burns Night in the Island Centre, Lisburn on Friday 26th January at 8 pm. This event will feature Ballycoan Pipe Band, who compete in Grade 1 under the leadership of Pipe Major Alfie Rea.

Last year the band completed a good season when they finished in first place in their qualifying section at the World Pipe Band Championships held in Glasgow Green in August. They then went on to take a very commendable 10th placing in the finals against the top pipe bands in the world.

There will be music from a local Folk Group as well as some Scottish dancing. Tea and Haggis will also be provided.

Tickets are available from the Box Office of the Island Centre on 92 509254 priced £10. There is a special invitation for all past pupils of Belvoir Parish Drum Majors to attend their annual display on 23rd March in Belvoir Parish Church Hall.

Also, if anyone has any photographs from the time the class was held at Carryduff Unionist Hall Ronnie Davidson would love to' have the lend of them to include in the programme of events for that special evening. They will he carefully looked after and returned.

Ronnie can be contacted by telephoning 90298837 or mobile 07734 151494.

The first event of the 2007 season will be the Seven Towers solo competition organised by Seven Towers Pipe band in conjunction with the Co. Antrim section.

It will take place on Saturday, 4th March in Bailee Community High School, Ballymena. For 11 entry forms or further information please contact secretary Patricia Pedlow, 11 Copperfield Court, Maghaberry BT28 2RP or telephone 9261 3092 mobile 077 1219 4981.

Ulster Star