AT a recent ceremony hosted by Banbridge District Council, the Co. Down section of the RSPBA were the recipients of a civic award for services to pipe bands and also in their encouragement of economic development through the staging and promotion of their contest.
For over 40 years the section have been staging events in the Banbridge District and the award was in recognition of all their achievements.
It was presented to the section chairman William Connolly by Colonel Hall, the Lord Lieutenant for the Co. Down, and section officers attended the event.
At the same function Mervyn Herron was also given an individual award for his service of 25 years as section secretary. He has served on the National Council for 25 years as well as being the contest administrator for the Northern Ireland branch.
Speaking at the awards, Mervyn paid tribute to all the section bands who had brought great credit to them and he thanked all of them for their commitment to the pipe band movement across the country.
Local group Bernagh with Andrew Carlisle and Mark Wilson provided the music during the function.
The 35th Co. Antrim Pipe Band championships was held last Saturday at Sandy Bayin Larne with 46 bands competing.
Newly promoted Cullybackey were the winners in Grade 1 under the leadership of Pipe Major Robert Cupples and Leading Tip Adrian Hoy. This was the band's best performance to date and secured them their first victory this season. Ravara took the title in Grade 2 with Aughintober winning Grade 3A.Raffrey continued on form and won Grade 3B with wins for Manor Cunningham in 4A and Thiepval Memorial in 4B.
Thanks must go to Lorraine McVeigh, Winston Pinkerton, Frank Kennedy and the rest of the Co. Antrim section for a very successful contest, and for the huge amount of time and effort they have put into the planning and organising of this year's event.
The Mid-Ulster Section of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA will host their 54th Annual Pipe Band and Drum Majors championships on Saturday 1 4th June in Cookstown High School Sports Arena commencing at noon for the Bands and 11.30am for Drum Majors Dress.
There are 49 Bands and 49 Drum Majors entered for this event which will have the usual support of side attractions with Stalls and Archery taking place.
There are 55 bands entered for the Co. Down Pipe Band Championships to be held in Banbridge on Saturday 21st June at Banbridge Academy. Adjudicators for this event are H. Stevenson, M. MacKenzie, L. Ingram and Pollock for piping; G. Craig and S. Steele for drumming and C. Mordaunt and J. Baxter for ensemble.
Then from 6 to 10pm, following the Co. Down competition, the Ulster-Scots agency will present the 'Gig at the Brig"' in Havelock Park, Banbridge.
Artists appearing are the Stonewall Folk Group, Kintra and Parcel of Rogues. There will be a Bar and hot food available and admission is free.
Grade 4B. 1st. Thiepval Mem. (also best bass) 2nd. Cleland Memorial (also best drums). 3rd. Ballyboley. 4th. Upper Crossgare (also best pipes).
Grade 4A. 1st. Manor Cunningham (also best bass) 2nd. Bready Ulster Scots (also best drums) 3rd. Quinn Memorial (also best pipes). 4th. Matt. Boyd.
Grade 3B. 1st. Raffrey (also best pipes). 2nd. Cullenfad (also best bass and best drums). 3rd. McNeillstown. 4th. Ballydonaghy.
Grade 3A. 1st. Aughintober (also best Pipes) 2nd. Cottown. 3rd. Killen (also best bass and best drums). 4th. Drumlough.
Grade 2. 1st. Ravara (also best Pipes) 2nd. Killeen (also best bass and best drums). 3rd. Seven Towers. 4th. Arklow.
Grade 1. 1st. Cullybackey. 2nd. Lothian & Borders. 3rd. Ballycoan. (best bass and best drums) 4th. Killeen.
Novice Drum Majors. 1st. Rachel Caldwell. 2nd. Lauren Abraham. 3rd. Bethan Martin. 4th. Emma Barr.
Junior. 1st. Lauren Hanna. 2nd. Dale Fisher. 3rd. Steven Gilchrist. 4th. Victoria Catterson. 5th. Lauren Muldrew.
Juvenile. 1st. Samantha Gordon. 2nd. Laura J. Lawson. 3rd. Emma Chambers. 4th. Jemma McKinney. 5th. Claire Downey. 6th. Linzi Hamilton.
Senior. lst. Ryan Ferry. 2nd. Paula Braiden. 3rd. Kathy Megarry Calvin. 4th. Alicia Dickson. 5th. Donna Gillespie