Duncan MacRae of London, Ontario, was elected to a two-year term as President of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario by the more than 50 members who attended the 2011 annual general meeting of the in Campbelville, Ontario, on December 3rd, with many coming prepared with numerous proxy votes under an absentee system applied by the organization for the first time in its history.
MacRae beat incumbent Charlie MacDonald in a run-off for the position more than three hours into the meeting that was punctuated with contentious but constructive debate by a vocal attending membership.
John Cairns was proclaimed Executive Vice-President, although he was not in attendance at the meeting. Cairns can either formally accept or reject the position. Gail Brown and Tyler Fry were elected to the organizations Board of Directors in a vote.
The meeting included numerous discussions of the communications problems evident in the last year, with MacDonald taking most of the criticism. In the latter part of the meeting questions – following an initial query by MacRae – were raised regarding MacDonald's decision to use the organization's website to present his platform for reelection.
The report of the PPBSO's finances showed liquid assets of more than $37,000 on the books, with the organization on solid financial ground.
Music Committee representatives Andrew Berthoff, Bill Livingstone and Bob Worrall discussed the achievements and challenges of the past year, as well as potential objectives for 2012, which include deployment of a Teaching program and a recommendation on the two-year pilot program of assessment and unofficial adjudication of bass-sections.
MacRae has served with the organization for most of the last 10 years, most recently as Executive Vice President, a position he resigned in 2011 due to expressed discontent with MacDonald's leadership.
MacDonald moves to a place on the PPBSO's Board of Directors as immediate past-President for two years.
The meeting began shortly after 1 pm and finished at approximately 4:30 pm, with MacRae already working to establish new lines of communications with various PPBSO parties.
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Ensure you make best use of your preparation time at a competition to warm yourself and your pipe up. Competition times are where you perform, not practice, so do not blow for too long before your performance time.