Niagara Police Grade 2 band collapses

Published: January 31, 2010
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Ontario is down to only two confirmed Grade 2 bands after the reported collapse of the Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band following the departure of Pipe-Major Dave Goodall, Lead-Drummer Graham Kirkwood and Pipe-Sergeant Patricia Kirkwood, as well as several other members, leaving the organization with only its Grade 4 band.

The three former leaders of Niagara have reportedly joined the Grade 3 Penetangore Pipe Band, under that band’s new pipe-major, Jake Watson.

In September 2009 the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police announced a new partnership with Watson and Penetangore, with the latter band serving as a feeder system.

The collapse of the Niagara Police leaves Ontario with only the Hamilton Police and Glengarry confirmed in Grade 2. The Burnett’s & Struth Pipe Band, which debuted in 2009 in Grade 3, and Penetangore reportedly may each apply for promotion to Grade 2 following an influx of personnel in each band.

The Chicago-based Midlothian Pipe Band also fell on hard times recently after the loss of its pipe-major, Adrian Melvin, and the retirement of Lead-Drummer Jim Sim following the 2009 season.

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  1. Lawrie

    Whilst not knowing all the circumstances, I’ll still ask the obvious question: why any band should collapse” when just 3 people

  2. huey

    So sorry to hear this news. I was very grateful to spend 4 season with the Niagara Bunch from 99-2002. Highlighted by 3 top 5 finishes at the worlds. It was a great group to be a part of. Cheers, Hugh Armstrong Alberta Caledonia AKA that kid from Winnipeg, Alberta….

  3. purv

    could it be that many more were leaving, but the three names mentioned were the most news-worthy? the band had a rough go last summer… maybe a few have left since then? and let’s be honest… if it was feasable to carry on without the parting leadership (that is, if there were people willing to take on those leadership positions), they wouldn’t be folding. i don’t see it as a cop-out… just very unfortunate circumstances.

  4. Bagpipermann

    Folding is perhaps a little misleading. Some of the membership, including the former leaders, have migrated to a newly forming GRII band in the area. Per NRPPB web site last week, the band still had 12 pipers and healthy mid section. However, therer were only two side drummers listed with no named Pipe Major or Lead Tip. I would expect that it is a temporary setback and that the band will recover in the near future. However, the real answers lie with the existing players who have not commented officially on the band status to date.

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