Published: June 30, 2009

Paterson leaves College of Piping post

After a few months on the job, Mike Paterson has resigned as Executive Director of the College of Piping in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. No reason has yet been given for Paterson’s abrupt departure, which College of Piping Chair Ken Gillis confirmed on June 11.
 
Paterson accepted the position in March 2009 after a lengthy search, which included interviews with several prominent pipers, including James MacHattie of Toronto and Fraser Clarke, recently with Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
 
Paterson took on the job, replacing the late Scott MacAulay, who died in September 2008 after a long battle with cancer.
 
Paterson had recently announced the cancellation of the Summerside Highland Games, an event that had been staged for 19 years. Lack of interest from local businesses was cited as a primary reason for the cancellation.
 
Sources close to the organization said that four employees had also resigned in the last few months.
 
According to reports a search for a new Executive Director is underway.
 
Paterson, who is originally from New Zealand and does not play either pipes or drums, had previously worked with the National Piping Centre in Glasgow to help produce its Piping Today magazine. It is not known if he will return to that work.

18 COMMENTS

  1. From friends of mine that have known James, he seems to be a great candidate. And he should know ( if your reading James) Outside of winter, the island is amazing. I really hope they get it right this time. The people retiring” and or

  2. From friends of mine that have known James, he seems to be a great candidate. And he should know ( if your reading James) Outside of winter, the island is amazing. I really hope they get it right this time. The people retiring” and or

  3. This is surprising, and yet not at all surprising. I had heard rumblings about the reasons behind events being nixed and other issues. I wrote a letter just two weeks ago to the College, and mike promptly got back to me with an answer to all my questions, and of course everything was the opposite of what I had heard…. As a former student there, I hope they search for someone with a desire to not only be the director, but a person that might be willing to be on location a little more permantly. A couple of the names listed that had applied for the job before would be great choices.

  4. Quote ”Sources close to the organization said that four employees had also resigned in the last few months” PeopleThe Gallup Orgnisation say don’t leave organisations, they leave their managers.

  5. Having the collage in such an inaccessible location has got to make it hard to run things. There is almost no way that a student in B.C. or Alberta let alone Ontario (Myself) would likely take the trip all the way out to P.E.I. attend a course there. Somewhere like Toronto seems to me like a far better location for a piping school. Seamus MacNeil and his contemporaries had planed to raise the MacCrimmon School of Piping from the ashes on the Isle of Skye and came to the conclusion: Why make a school of piping in a location totally out of the way for people? Summerside is a pretty hard place to catch a flight to. It sounds like things are falling apart over there, in my oppinion dont hold James MacHatties age against him there is too much of that kind of mentality in the Collage as it is, and for that matter take the Collage to him in Toronto where anyone in North America can get a direct flight to it (and probably find a good deal on it too)

  6. whoever thought of putting the collage out there in the first place was in my oppinion a lttle too romantic. Pertaining to the highland piping, the maritimes arent what they were fifty years ago, and yes my family is from there. They should pull up stakes and move camp before the whole thing goes under.

  7. Maybe it’s in PEI because they can spell College? JK. Anyway, the school is in a great place. I went there as a resident student in 1998-99. I was only 19 years old, but it was great. While going when the island is not in season was a bit of a drag, you really have little more to focus on then your piping. Not to mention in the last 10 years the changes have been made, (including adding another campus on the island) are amazing. They just need someone who can commit to the cause.

  8. I worked at The College for the past 15 years as registrar/bookkeeper and have just retired as of this June. First, I would like to comment on the four people who resigned from The College. This is new to me. I retired which has been known since last November. One left for a new job which was in the mill before Mr. Paterson arrived. The third was a term employee who will be leaving in September. I do not know who the fourth person is. Second, of all the students from literally all over the world who have attended The College either for a year or a week of study, I never once heard them complain of how far away PEI was, how hard it was to get to,or that The College was built in the wrong place. The College is a prestigeous place to come to and all are welcomed. The former Director, Mr. MacAulay, instructors and staff worked together tiredlessly to insure all who came to The College were given the best instruction they could receive. All the students from away enjoyed the serenity of the Island and the hospitality that was given to them. Mr. Paterson is a very nice person and whatever the reason for his leaving had nothing to do with the people who work at The College. They left because of their own personal decisions or other endeavours. Thank You, Patsy Martin

  9. This is surprising, and yet not at all surprising. I had heard rumblings about the reasons behind events being nixed and other issues. I wrote a letter just two weeks ago to the College, and mike promptly got back to me with an answer to all my questions, and of course everything was the opposite of what I had heard…. As a former student there, I hope they search for someone with a desire to not only be the director, but a person that might be willing to be on location a little more permantly. A couple of the names listed that had applied for the job before would be great choices.

  10. Quote ”Sources close to the organization said that four employees had also resigned in the last few months” PeopleThe Gallup Orgnisation say don’t leave organisations, they leave their managers.

  11. Having the collage in such an inaccessible location has got to make it hard to run things. There is almost no way that a student in B.C. or Alberta let alone Ontario (Myself) would likely take the trip all the way out to P.E.I. attend a course there. Somewhere like Toronto seems to me like a far better location for a piping school. Seamus MacNeil and his contemporaries had planed to raise the MacCrimmon School of Piping from the ashes on the Isle of Skye and came to the conclusion: Why make a school of piping in a location totally out of the way for people? Summerside is a pretty hard place to catch a flight to. It sounds like things are falling apart over there, in my oppinion dont hold James MacHatties age against him there is too much of that kind of mentality in the Collage as it is, and for that matter take the Collage to him in Toronto where anyone in North America can get a direct flight to it (and probably find a good deal on it too)

  12. whoever thought of putting the collage out there in the first place was in my oppinion a lttle too romantic. Pertaining to the highland piping, the maritimes arent what they were fifty years ago, and yes my family is from there. They should pull up stakes and move camp before the whole thing goes under.

  13. Maybe it’s in PEI because they can spell College? JK. Anyway, the school is in a great place. I went there as a resident student in 1998-99. I was only 19 years old, but it was great. While going when the island is not in season was a bit of a drag, you really have little more to focus on then your piping. Not to mention in the last 10 years the changes have been made, (including adding another campus on the island) are amazing. They just need someone who can commit to the cause.

  14. I worked at The College for the past 15 years as registrar/bookkeeper and have just retired as of this June. First, I would like to comment on the four people who resigned from The College. This is new to me. I retired which has been known since last November. One left for a new job which was in the mill before Mr. Paterson arrived. The third was a term employee who will be leaving in September. I do not know who the fourth person is. Second, of all the students from literally all over the world who have attended The College either for a year or a week of study, I never once heard them complain of how far away PEI was, how hard it was to get to,or that The College was built in the wrong place. The College is a prestigeous place to come to and all are welcomed. The former Director, Mr. MacAulay, instructors and staff worked together tiredlessly to insure all who came to The College were given the best instruction they could receive. All the students from away enjoyed the serenity of the Island and the hospitality that was given to them. Mr. Paterson is a very nice person and whatever the reason for his leaving had nothing to do with the people who work at The College. They left because of their own personal decisions or other endeavours. Thank You, Patsy Martin

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