The 60-year history of the Maple Ridge Pipe Band has come to end, but in name only, as the Grade 2 group will now be known as the New Westminster Police Pipe Band after a sponsorship agreement was reached with the British Columbia city’s police force.
The newly named band will continue to be affiliated with the Simon Fraser University organization, a relationship that was struck in 2006 after all of the members of SFU’s previous Grade 2 band, Robert-Malcolm Memorial II, left the organization, eventually merging with Triumph Street.
MacPherson said that the number of band-members who actually lived in the city of Maple Ridge had dwindled to none, and that ties to previous sponsors had been lost.
“The current leadership of this band, which took the reins some 13 seasons ago, had never approached the community for any assistance, financial or otherwise, mainly because there was no connection with Maple Ridge,” he said. The sponsorship will allow the New Westminster Police band to travel more, replace and update uniforms and “fulfill projects identified over the years but postponed due to financial restraints.”
MacPherson said that the band has 22 pipers, 11 snare-drummers, five tenors and two bass-drummers on its competition roster, and that it will compete at the North American Pipe Band Championships at Maxville, Ontario, and the Montreal Highland Games in August – a 5,000 kilometer journey.He hinted that a celebration of 60 years of the Maple Ridge Pipe Band and formal introduction of the “New West Cops” will happen soon.