PPBSO ’06 AGM on Remembrance Day causes upset
October 4, 2006
The Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario has scheduled its annual general meeting and Champion Supreme awards ceremonies on November 11, Remembrance Day, a date that Commonwealth countries in particular hold in solemn esteem to honour those who gave up their lives fighting for their country.
The choice of date has resulted in many members being unable or refusing to attend, include the Toronto Police Pipe and the Glengarry Pipe Band, respectively the Grade 1 and Grade 2 PPBSO Champion Supreme winners.
“I [am] sorry for the date chosen for this event, however we are bound by our PPBSO rules to have the AGM / award ceremonies in November,” said Ron Rollo, PPBSO president. “We tried to change the date but all other Saturdays were booked. We have changed the time to 2 p.m . . . in the hope that it will allow the members to observe the minute of silence at 11 a.m. We also found in trying to find other suitable places to meet that we had to stay with what we had.”
The events are to be held at the Lion’s Club Memorial Arena in Milton, Ontario.
Remembrance Day, known as Veteran’s Day in the United States, is also one of the most active dates for pipe bands and solo pipers who are in demand for parades and official ceremonies.
One band commented, “[We] find it disrespectful and offensive to hold the Highland ball, a night where we celebrate our summer hobby, on the same day that we honour hundreds of thousands of people for risking their lives to uphold the rights and freedoms we all take for granted every day. The band currently has a member serving in Afghanistan, other serving military members, and many family members who fought and in some cases lost their lives in the Second World War.”
Among the items on the agenda for the PPBSO AGM is election of Vice-President and Secretary on the organization’s Executive administration. The posts are currently held by Willie Connell and Barbara MacRae.
Champion Supreme-winning bands traditionally perform at the awards function. The smaller, more casual event in 2005 replaced the PPBSO’s annual Highland Ball.
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