October 31, 2003

Historic Maxville Building Burns To The Ground

The historic Angus Grey Hall on the grounds of the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ontario, was completely destroyed by fire in the early morning of September 30. All trophies for the North American Pipe Band Championships, held in a display case on the west wall of the main hall, were lost in the blaze. The trophies carried the names of winning bands over the years.

“For decades, many spectators and competitors found shelter from the blistering sun or torrential rains inside the great hall,” said Bruce McCuaig, a piper with the local Glengarry Pipe Band. “It was an ideal spot to meet friends for a drink on the Saturday of the games or on the Friday night tattoo. For many years the PPBSO had their office inside the Angus Grey Hall on the Saturday of the Maxville Games.”

According to sources, the building had been closed as usual for the winter with the electricity shut off. The fire marshal has been called to the case, and a criminal investigation is reportedly under way.

The building was also the summer practice venue for the Glengarry pipe bands.

The Glengarry Highland Games, the largest in the world in terms of spectators and individual piping and drumming participants, recently unveiled extensive plans to increase the size and number of stands for the annual early August games. Total budget for design and construction has been pegged at over $1 million.

Maxville was proposed as a Grade 1 qualifier for the World Pipe Band Championships at a meeting of non-Scottish associations, hosted by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association on August 17 of this year. The proposal was reportedly received by RSPBA officials with less than welcome ears.


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