August 31, 1999

RSPBA Millennium Committee formed

Responding to scathing criticism following its disastrous Annual General Meeting in March, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association has approved the formation of an ad hoc “Millennium Committee” with the aim of identifying and recommending solutions to the organization’s challenges.

The impetus for the committee is an extremely pointed letter from the Grade 2 Scottish Gas Pipe Band of Edinburgh. In the letter, the RSPBA is taken to task for perceived shortcomings, including its lack of communication, unknown future direction, perhaps most of all, its dire financial situation.

The committee comprises nine playing members from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

With its bank balance edging towards empty, the RSPBA was forced to slash prize monies for the 1999 season. Prizes for lower grade bands were reduced to almost comical levels, while first place money for Grade 1 at 1999 major championships is not even enough to cover a band’s coach expenses.

RSPBA coffers hemorrhaged money in the last two years from a balance of nearly 90,000 pounds. Allegedly, two wrongful dismissal suits were won against the organization, and damages had to be paid.

Among the mandates of the Millennium Committee are to recommend a proper course of financial action, improve marketing and communications, and mend international relations.

“The RSPBA has been operating in the 1960s for the last three decades,” said one insider who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s good that they’re at least trying to enter the 1980s.”


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