John Elliott has retired from the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band of Brampton, Ontario, after 16 years of service, including 11 years as Pipe-Major, saying that he has “no plans to play with another band and will most likely do full-time judging.”
Elliott became Pipe-Major of the Peel Police in 1993 after the band merged with the Grade 1 Toronto & District Pipe Band, which he had led since 1979, giving him in total 25 years of Grade 1 leadership experience.
“[John] decided that it was just the right time for him to go,” said Peel Police Pipe-Major John Cairns. “It is very unfortunate and a huge loss for the band. John has been the glue that has kept this band together for all of these years. His vast experience, terrific ear, great hands and wonderful wit will be sorely missed. On behalf of the band, I want to thank John for all of his years of dedicated service and we wish John every success in what ever lies ahead for him.”
Elliott’s SoundSupreme reed making business has been a full-time job for him for several years. He was one of several Canadian pipers to join the famous Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band of Grangemouth, Scotland, in the 1970s, in the latter years of Pipe-Major Bob Hardie’s leadership.
Cairns added that Jake Watson, the former Pipe-Major of the Grade 1 Toronto Police and Grade 2 Niagara & District pipe bands, joined the Peel Police in August. Watson had most recently worked with the Grade 4 Penetangore Pipe Band of Kincardine, Ontario, and from 1997 until 2007 was a piper with the Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band of Toronto.
Cairns also said that his band plans to return to Scotland to compete at the 2010 World Pipe Band Championships, and intends to extend its trip to include contests at North Berwick and Perth. He indicated that he expects to add several pipers and drummers to the ranks, upon their confirmation at the band’s annual general meeting.