September 30, 2004

Fifth prize in Northern Meeting Gold Medal finally awarded

The mysterious, previously-unannounced fifth prize in the Gold Medal piobaireachd competition at this year’s Northern Meeting at Inverness has been awarded to Richard Hawke of New Zealand, Piper & Drummer Online has learned.

Upon completion of the contest on September 9th, only four prizes were awarded in what is the Northern Meeting’s most-anticipated event. Competitors were left wondering if the judges couldn’t agree, if they had agreed that no competitor was deserving of the fifth prize, or if there had been a simple oversight.

The fifth prize rounded out a very successful Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting for Hawke, who won the A-Grade MSR at Inverness, and placed fourth in the Gold Medal at Oban.

Even more excitement was added to the Inverness Gold Medal by Iain Speirs’ late arrival, after making the four-hour drive back from Inverness to his home town of Edinburgh the night before to be with his wife, Suzanne, who was either in or close to being in labour with the couple’s second child. Speirs arrived just in time to still play in the Gold Medal, after a fellow competitor agreed to switch spots with him, taking an earlier time.

As it turned out, Speirs’ son, John, was born on the 11th of September, weighing-in at a healthy 7 pounds, 10 ounces – a brother for Annie and grandson for Tom and Carol: pure gold, indeed.


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