Published: October 31, 2004

John Walsh re-joins 78th Highlanders (Halifax)

The well-known piper, John Walsh, has joined the 78th Highlanders (Halifax) after spending the past three seasons with the 78th Fraser Highlanders of Toronto.

Walsh had served with the Halifax band as pipe-major when it was still the Halifax Police, but then left in 1999 to concentrate on his expanding pipe-making business in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

“I can confirm that John has joined the band and that we’re delighted to have him back with us,” says Roderick MacLean, pipe-major of the 78th Highlanders (Halifax). “John’s talent, knowledge and experience make him an extremely valuable addition to the group and his former leadership makes his return that much more welcome. He helped the band improve immensely as Pipe-Major, guiding us (in our days as the Halifax Police) to our first win in Grade 1 in 1998. We’re looking forward to his contribution as the band seeks to improve its standing at the World’s in 2005.”

According to 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe-Major Bill Livingstone, Walsh stepped down from the Toronto-based band because he is unable to make the practice commitment required of its members.

Originally from Bradford, England, John Walsh has also played with Shotts & Dykehead and British Caledonian Airways. The Shuttle pipes he developed in the 1990s are extremely popular with pipers around the world, and his new pipe chanter, which is still in development, was played by the 78th Frasers in 2003 and most of 2004.

Walsh says that he is also currently developing a new line of full-size Highland pipes.

At the 2004 World Pipe Band Championships, the 78th Fraser Highlanders finished seventh in the Grade 1 final, while the 78th Highlanders (Halifax) did not make the top six in the qualifying round.

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