Duncan Gibson, 1951-2008
Duncan Gibson, the well known and popular Ontario bass drummer, died in Hamilton, Ontario, on December 1, 2008, after a two-year battle with cancer.
Born in Motherwell, Scotland, on May 6, 1951, Gibson played bass for many years with the Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band. Along the way he received numerous awards for his work, including the “Best Bass” prize at the North American Championships many times.
While Duncan Gibson was perhaps best known for his work with the Toronto Police, he played with the Grade 1 McNish Pipe Band in the 1970s and the Bruce County and Clan MacFarlane pipe bands in the 1980s. He moved to the Toronto Police when Clan MacFarlane and the Metro Toronto Police bands merged in the early 1990s.
He joined the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police in 2002 and played with that band until he returned to Toronto Police is 2005 after the two bands essentially traded drum sections. He returned to finish his playing career with the Niagara Regional Police in 2008.
Duncan Gibson will be remembered for many stories, among them competing with one arm in a sling while playing bass with Clan MacFarlane because he had fallen on hedge trimmers. James MacHattie’s composition, “One Stick Duncan,” was named for him after he was awarded the Best Bass prize at the Champion Supreme Hamilton (Ontario) Games in 2005, even though he dropped a stick in the third part of the opening march.
Until he became ill, was in high demand as an instructor. For several years he taught bass drum at the Midwest Highland Arts Fund’s Winter Storm event in Kansas City, Missouri, also participating in the annual concert.
A special prize in his name is already being considered for at least one major competition.
On behalf of the world community of pipers and drummers, we extend our sympathies to Duncan Gibson’s family and many friends at this sad time.