April 30, 2002

Australian Championship Goes to Celtic Inn Manawatu

Brisbane, Australia – March 30, 2002 – Celtic Inn Manawatu of New Zealand won the Australian & South Pacific Pipe Band Championships at Brisbane’s Cleveland Showgrounds in a closely contested event that saw Australia’s Queensland Highlanders finish second.

The victory gave Celtic Inn Manawatu a sweep of the two major Antipodean contests, after the band won the New Zealand Championship on March 9th.

Thirty-nine bands across four grades took part in the event.

The competition marked the first big Grade 1 contest for the Queensland Highlanders, which won the Grade 2 event at the 2001 World Pipe Band Championship. The band was promoted to Grade 1 by the Australian Pipe Band Association, while the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) has not yet followed suit.

In a controversial move, the RSPBA chose to upgrade the Prince Charles Pipe Band of San Francisco to Grade 1, even though the band finished fourth at the World Championships.

Grade 1
1st Celtic Inn Manawatu
2nd Queensland Highlanders
3rd City of Blacktown
4th City of Melbourne
5th St. Mary’s Club
Drumming: Queensland Highlanders

Grade 2
1st City of Bankstown
Drumming: City of Bankstown

Grade 3
1st Canberra Burns Club
2nd St Andrew’s
3rd Queensland Police Juvenile
4th Warrnambool & District
5th University of Ballarat
Drumming: Canberra Burns Club

Grade 4
1st Haileybury College
2nd Maclean & District
3rd Queensland Highlanders
4th Canberra Burns Club
5th City of Melbourne
Drumming: Queensland Highlanders

1st Queensland Police Juvenile
2nd Haileybury College
3rd Scots PGC
4th Brisbane Boys College
Drumming: Queensland Police

All events were judged by T. Brown, Scotland; M. DeHayr Australia; J. McKenzie, Australia; C. Stevens, New Zealand; A. Pratt, New Zealand; D. Gray, Australia; B. Edmonds, Australia.

Pipe band insiders see the discrepancy between the two gradings of the Queensland Highlanders as a potential mirror of last year’s big controversy, when Prince Charles had been upgraded by its home association, the Western United States Pipe Band Association, and not the RSPBA, even though the band had won Grade 2 at the 2000 World’s. Prince Charles had entered in Grade 1, only to find out – by reading Piper & Drummer Online – just weeks before the contest that the band would have to play in Grade 2.


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