June 30, 2011

Richard Hawke gets a gong: awarded NZ Order of Merit in Queen’s Birthday Honours

After teaching piping in the Christchurch area for more than three decades, winning dozens of top solo piping awards and leading a Grade 1 band, Richard Hawke of New Zealand has been recognized with a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to piping in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The Pipe-Major of the Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band and winner of the 2007 Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering, Hawke heads up the teaching program of the multi-band Canterbury organization.

“This was a totally unexpected honour and I was very humbled to even be considered for such a National Honour,” Hawke said. “This is not only an honour for me personally however fantastic recognition for piping and pipe bands by the greater community.”

The official statement from New Zealand’s Government House read:

[Richard Hawke] is one of the leading piping tutors in Australasia and has tutored for the past 30 years, working in both paid and unpaid capacities, and developing a reputation for being able to recognize and nurture young talent. He has held a number of positions since 1979 including Principal at the New Zealand College of Piping from 1994-2002. He is a founding tutor of the National Summer Schools, an initiative promoted by the Royal New Zealand Pipe Bands Association. He is currently the Pipe Band Director at St. Andrew’s College and Pipe-Major of the Canterbury Caledonian Society’s Pipe Band. Mr. Hawke has competed in seven Pipe Band World Championships, has won several international solo competitions, including the Piping Society of London’s Gold Medal (Oban) and the Braemar Gathering Gold Medal (twice), and has 20 New Zealand Solo Piping Championship Open titles.


  1. An incredibly worthy recipient of the award. Richard is an absolute inspiration to the entire piping and pipe band community in New Zealand. Congratulations Richard.

  2. What an outstanding achievement Richard – I could not be happier for you. Julie, the boys, STAC and of course the entire Canterbury Caledonian Society must be so proud. Congratulations my friend – you are an ideal ambassador for piping and pipe bands in your country. Sincerely, Tyler



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