April 30, 2002

Jack Dunbar Dies

Jack Dunbar, the acclaimed bagpipe maker, passed away in St. Catherines, Ontario, on April 13, 2002, after a lengthy illness.

A native of Scotland, Dunbar was the first bagpipe maker to set up full time facilities in North America, starting his business in the late 1960s. He was known as an innovator, bringing the extensive knowledge he gained as a turner at Peter Henderson in Glasgow to the North American market.

He is seen as one of the first pipe makers to recognize the potential of synthetic materials in the making of bagpipes and chanters. He developed pipes made from Delrin, which are still available from his business as entry-level instruments.

In the 1980s Jack Dunbar collaborated with Ken Eller, Pipe-Major of the Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band, to establish Dunbar-Eller. The two worked to create a popular chanter for pipe bands. Eller left the business in 1989, and Dunbar continued again on his own.

The future of Dunbar Bagpipes is not currently known. A full appreciation of Jack Dunbar will appear on Piper & Drummer Online soon.

On behalf of piper and drummers everywhere, we extend our sympathies to Jack Dunbar’s survivors and many friends.





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