July 31, 2001

Halifax Police Changes Name to 78th Highlanders

The Grade 1 Halifax Police Association Pipe Band of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, has changed its name to the 78th Highlanders after taking on a generous sponsorship from the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association, a group steeped in the military tradition and history of the area.

The band competed under the name for the first time at the Halifax Highland Games on July 7.

While the band recognizes that it has taken a name similar to the Toronto-based 78th Fraser Highlanders, it sees it as a positive step forward in a time when bands are continually strapped for finances to compete on a world level.

Despite the band playing under the Halifax Police Association name, its sponsorship was severed several years ago, leaving the band on its own to raise funds independently. The 78th Highlanders have been actively searching for a sponsorship since that time, and the deal struck with the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association was a welcome offer, but strictly stipulated that the name be changed to reflect the historic 78th Highlanders regiment that served in the area in the 18th century.

The 78th Fraser Highlanders of Toronto have not been sponsored for over 15 years. When the band was formed in 1980, it received funds from a local historical social club to purchase uniforms and, in return, took on the name of the group.

The 78th Highlanders, led by Pipe-Major Roderick MacLean, a fomer member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, and Lead Drummer Dave Danskin, have enjoyed a surge of talent to its ranks this year. Among new top solo pipers joining are Bruce Gandy, Fraser Clarke, and Matt MacIsaac, reportedly giving the band a pipe section of 18 players.

There have been numerous examples of successful name changes by top bands. ScottishPower, for example, was previously known as British Caledonian Airways. The David Urquhart Travel Pipe Band was formerly Babcock-Renfrew, and before that British Caledonian Airways Renfrew, and, previous to that, simply the Renfrew Pipe Band.

Both the 78th Highlanders and the 78th Fraser Highlanders will be competing at the World Pipe Band Championships this year.


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