The famous pipe band personality, Tom Anderson, was feted at a dinner with a large crowd of friends and family at the Riverstone Event Centre in Welland, Ontario, on November 23rd in honour of his 80th birthday.
Anderson, who became an octogenarian on November 22nd, is renowned in the pipe band world, and credited by the legendary Strathclyde Police Pipe Band Pipe-Major Ian MacLellan with having a profound influence on his own leadership skills when MacLellan played under him in the Grade 1 Renfrew Pipe Band in the 1960s.
Originally from Paisley, Scotland, Tom Anderson immigrated to Ontario, Canada, in 1981, having previously served also as pipe-major of the Grade 1 British Caledonian Airways and St. Patrick’s Donaghmore of Dublin, where he lived for several years.
He is held in particularly high esteem in Ireland and Northern Ireland where he made a huge mark leading St. Patrick’s Donaghmore to competition success on a world level without concern for religious faith, at a time when the Troubles between the two countries were at its height.
In Canada he led the Grade 2 Glenmore Pipe Band before joining the 78th Fraser Highlanders during that band’s most successful period through the 1980s. He became Pipe-Major of the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band in 1992, and went on to lead the Grade 2 Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band, and, most recently, the Grade 3 Georgetown Pipe Band.
Several well-known pipers and drummers turned out to the dinner to pay tribute to Anderson, including Bill Livingstone, Gail Brown and Graham Kirkwood.
Anderson remains active in the piping and drumming world, and continues to serve as a solo piping and pipe band judge on the Ontario circuit and shows no signs of slowing down.