The piping community has been sadly diminished by the passing of John Finlay, of cancer, in Glasgow on Sept 13, 2010.
John was an accomplished piper who won six Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships – five as a piper with Muirhead & Sons under Bob Hardie in the 1960s, and one as a snare drummer with Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia under Tom McAllister in the 1950s. He is the only man known to have won the World Championship as both a piper and a drummer.
He was a great friend of Bob Hardie, Andrew Macneil and Robert Reid. He and his wife Sheila took great care of Bob during the last decade of his life. John was a regular at the Worlds Pipe Band Championships and the Glenfiddich Championships at Blair Castle.
John Finlay was a solo contemporary of John D. Burgess and Willie Connell, and enjoyed success as an amateur before focusing on his love of football. His knowledge of our piping history and people was detailed and always entertaining. An old-school pipe bandsman, John loved to listen to the March Strathspey & Reel contests at the World’s. He approached all things piping with a smile and a positive outlook, and his love of piping and sense of humour will be missed by his many piping friends.
John was lovingly cared for by his wife Sheila over the past 10 months as his health deteriorated. Our thoughts and thanks go out to her and the community of friends and pipers who supported her and John in the final months.
Funeral Services will be held at the Daldowie Crematorium, Glasgow, on Friday, September 17, at 11 am.
- contributed by Michael MacDonald, Toronto