Canterbury Caledonian historic hall demolished in quake; band members safe
The 88-year-old hall belonging to the Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band organization has been destroyed in the February 22nd earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand.
No band members were in the hall when the structure collapsed, but the group believes that the drums for the organization’s Grade 1 and Grade 3 bands are among the rubble.
The Canterbury Caledonian Society was formed in 1902 and the hall was built on the site in 1923. The building was home to the organization’s Grade 1, Grade 3, Grade 4 and Juvenile bands, as well as its school of piping and drumming school. More than 200 Highland dancers and Scottish Country Dancers also use the hall for instruction and practice.
According to band member George McEwan, there is a “fantastic collection of historic articles collected over the years to do with all things Scottish.”
The band is hit with 11 days to go before the New Zealand Pipe Band Championships.
“This is going to severely hamper our preparations, however, it’s too early for discussion on how the band will be positioned early next week and the level of support and concern from the pipe band world internationally has been mind-blowing,” added McEwan. There was a local centre contest scheduled for Sunday which I would now think has been cancelled.”
So far approximately 75 people are confirmed dead as a result of the earthquake, while hundreds are still missing. Most areas of Christchurch are without running water or sewage services, but power was reconnected earlier today.
“The effects of this event will be very far reaching for the band,” McEwan said.