Published: October 31, 2003

MWPBA Responds Negatively to EUSPBA’s Branching Out

We have received a copy of a letter sent by the MidWest Pipe Band Association (MWPBA) President Drew Hoinacki and that association’s Advisory Board to Albert McMullin, President of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA), regarding the latter group’s recent creation of two new branches that encroach on MWPBA geographic territory.

“At this time, the MWPBA does not recognize any changes in the association boundaries,” the letter states. “We do not feel an organization has the authority to implement expansion without proper communication, discussion and most importantly substantiation. We do not feel we would be acting in the best interest of the membership of the contended areas to accept this ‘manifest destiny’ action without proper investigation of the needs of those areas.”

The MWPBA letter stresses that mandates of the Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations (ANAPBA) include “fostering a culture of cooperation among member associations,” and “communication and sharing of information.” The ANAPBA is made up of the ten North American pipe band associations.

“It is with this understanding that the Advisory Board of the MidWest Pipe Band Association was amazed when it found out that you had recently taken it upon yourselves to announce the recent jurisdictional expansion,” the MWPBA letter adds. “We would appreciate your showing our membership the respect of contacting Drew Hoinacki, President, to arrange a discussion to include the MWPBA Advisory Board and the EUSPBA Executive Committee. In the end, we want to do what is best for the piping and drumming community. A comprehensive dialogue may bring that to bear.”

McMullin had stressed that before his association’s executive committee voted to establish the new Ohio Valley and Southwestern branches, he had asked all ANAPBA member presidents for their thoughts on the possibility, saying also that he received no response from the MWPBA.

“The EUSPBA is bound by (United States) federal law to allow anyone who wishes to join to join,” said McMullin. “The EUSPBA implemented policies years before ANAPBA [that] allowed members to form branches. If the EUSPBA were to deny a branch charter after the fact there could be serious problems insofar as our 501-C-3 charitable tax exempt status is concerned.

“If anyone thinks the volunteers running the EUSPBA are jumping for joy over more area, more members, he/she is dead wrong. On the other hand, I am very proud of the EUSPBA as an organization and am flattered that people wish to affiliate with us.”

Kenton Adler, who is with the EUSPBA’s new Southwestern branch, said, “The EUSPBA did not ‘annex’ us. The EUSPBA did not instigate our petition, nor even encourage it particularly. They merely responded to our enquiries about forming a Southwestern branch, outlining what minimum requirements needed to be met, and then allowed us to join when we met their requirements.”

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