George “Geordie” Pryde, 1921-2014
George “Geordie” Pryde, the long-time Leading-Drummer of the Powell River Pipe Band of British Columbia, and a former member of the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band in the 1950s under Pipe-Majors Donald Shaw-Ramsay and John Burgess, died on January 3rd in his ninety-third year.
Born March 5, 1921, in Newton Grange, Scotland, Pryde worked in the collieries from the age of 14 until joining the military and serving in World War II. As a student of drumming legend Jimmy Catherwood, his ability as a drummer helped him start a career with the Edinburgh Police, where the force famously conveniently overlooked a minimum height requirement in order to get him into the band. While with the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band, he won the 1947 World Solo Drumming Championship.
Geordie Pryde immigrated to British Columbia in 1957 after seeing an ad by the Powell River lumber company, seeking for pipers and drummers for its band. Pryde worked in security with Powell River, and took over the band’s drum section, working with Pipe-Major David Westie. Pryde played a key role in bringing the band to prominence as one of the first western Canada pipe bands to enjoy strong success internationally.
He was a prolific teacher throughout western Canada, and is seen as an integral figure in bringing quality pipe band drumming to the region.
Our condolences go out to Geordie Pryde’s family and friends at this sad time.