January 31, 2000

Abbotsford Police Disbands

After several successful years in Grade 1, the Abbotsford Police Pipe Band of British Columbia, Canada, has folded, leaving the area with one Grade 1 band, the 1999 World Champion Simon Fraser University.

Apparently five members of the Abbotsford pipe section decided to join SFU’s operation following Abbotsford’s trip to the Scotland in the August of 1999. Three members went to SFU’s Grade 2 band, Robert Malcolm Memorial, and two went to the Grade 1 band. Other bands in the area have also benefitted from Abbotsford’s demise.

Abbotsford faired quite well at the 1999 World’s, with the pipe corps placing 8th and 9th in the qualifying section.

“The last few months we were actively recruiting without any success,” said former P/M Doug Bird. “It’s difficult to recruit anyone with the World Champion on your doorstep.”

Abbotsford Police was started in 1961, and moved up and down the grades until the early 1990s when the band moved to Grade 1. At that time there were four bands in Grade 1 in British Columbia. There is only one today.

There has been considerable discussion in the last five years especially of the effect SFU has had on the BC pipe band scene. Some say that the organization has drained other bands of good players, while others contend that the extensive SFU teaching program has nurtured piping and drumming in the area.


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