January 31, 2011

Ranald Livingstone, 1935-2011

The popular and hard-working Ontario-based piper Ranald Livingstone passed away on January 25, 2011, in his 76th year. A well known figure in the pipe band world, he is survived by his daughters Laurie and Kathryn, and grandchildren Robbie, Kari and Kimberley; and his brother, Bill.

Ranald was taught to play pipes by his father Bill Sr., and was a very good player. Some contended that he had more natural talent than his more visibly successful brother.

Ranald Livingstone’s early pipe band experience was with his father and brother playing in the Coppercliff Highlanders Pipe Band of Coppercliff, Ontario, in the early-1950s. At the time the band was probably one of the northern-most pipe bands in the world. He was the Pipe-Major of the Grade 2 Campbell Pipe Band of Ottawa during the late 1950s, and band that notably had the famous Lead-Drummer John Kerr.

Livingstone served as President of the Hamilton Branch of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario for many years during the 1970s, and was Vice-President of the PPBSO’s parent body executive in the 1980s.

Known as a great character, story teller and a man who loved to laugh and enjoy life, Ranald Livingstone may be best known with today’s pipers and drummers as the voice of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, as the emcee at most of their concerts over the last 30 years. He was the voice-over narrator of the stories behind the band’s CD and DVD productions, A Flame of Wrath and Seanchaid.

In accordance with  his wishes, there will be no funeral nor visitation. He asked for a private family affair only, and his wishes are being honoured.

His brother Bill and sister-in-law Lily have received many messages of condolence and expressions of affection for him, coming from all corners of the pipe band world. It is a heartwarming comfort to them and they thank everyone who has taken the time.

On behalf of the world’s piping and drumming community, we express our condolences to Ranald Livingstone’s survivors and his many friends at this sad time.


  1. Ranald’s passing will be a great loss to the piping community the World over,but mainly to the Ontario community where his presence at the Highland Gatherings was truly a delight. His wit and winning smile were ever present. Condolences to the family.

  2. Never has there been, nor likely will there ever be, a greater fan of the 78th and their music than Ranny. Condolences to Bill, Lily and the rest of the Family.

  3. I was saddened by this news. I didn’t know Ranald well, but always thought he was a positive and well-meaning person who enjoyed a good meal, a few beverages and a laugh. Rest in peace.

  4. I only met Ranald once, in Chatham back in 2001; but he was unforgettable. A fun and engaging guy to speak with, and quick to offer some excellent Glasgow restaurant tips. A Renaissance Man. My condolences to Bill and the family. Cliff Davis

  5. I have received literally dozens of messages of condolence, anecdotes about some Ranald moment, and expressions of affection…phone calls, emails…the lot…I can’t possibly respond to them indivdually so I write to say thank you to everyone for their thoughts…Lily and I truly appreciate it.



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