December 31, 2006

MacPherson clarifies Maple Ridge / RMM2 situation

Angus MacPherson, the long-time pipe-major of the Grade 2 Maple Ridge Pipe Band, which recently joined the Simon Fraser University organization, replacing the Robert Malcolm Memorial Grade 2 band, has offered additional information to pipes|drums in an attempt to clarify the situation.

MacPherson said, “The ‘partnership’ with SFU was not a ‘merger / amalgamation / absorption’ of RMM 2 into Maple Ridge. When it became apparent, during conversations with Terry Lee, that there would not be a Grade 2 band in the SFU organization for some time to come, if ever, . . . the suggestion was put forward that Maple Ridge could become an instrument for ‘parking’ future SFU prospects and/or players graduating from RMM 3/4 who were not going to play Grade 1, but who could evolve into strong Grade 2 members.”

He added that Maple Ridge has not had a formal teaching program, which has made recruitment of new members “a challenge over the years.” He said that discussions were held with Maple Ridge members, and a consensus was reached to proceed with the new arrangement.

MacPherson further clarified the relationship with the following:

  1. The leadership of SFU and MRPB were not involved in “trafficking” pipers and drummers from the current RMM2. It was not an announcement of a wholesale movement of 20 World Champion players into Maple Ridge.
  2. This was not a ploy by the remaining members of RMM2 to continue playing in Grade 2 under another name thus avoiding the ruling of the BCPA and RSPBA to promote them.
  3. The “veil of secrecy” was simply to ensure the information of the partnership was shared by all concerned at the same time.
  4. Maple Ridge has not become part of SFU. RMM2 players have not been rolled into Maple Ridge.
  5. Future aspirations for Maple Ridge (with or without any RMM players) to play in Grade 1 would be entirely dependent on the membership of the band at that time.
  6. Maple Ridge is not “struggling” for members.
  7. The original [statement] from Terry Lee to [pipes|drums] was also signed by me.

MacPherson concluded by saying that he “would sincerely want to see another Grade 2 or Grade 1 band competing in this area,” since “it is competition which hones our skills and has made both bands what they are today.”

He went on to stress that regret over any ill will that may have resulted between Maple Ridge and RMM2. “We only congratulate them on their extreme hard work and effort expended last year culminating in winning the World Championships,” MacPherson commented.

Sources from within the former Robert Malcolm Memorial Grade 2 band have indicated that no members have joined Maple Ridge, and that most are still weighing their options. The possibility of starting an altogether new band exists.


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