The RSPBA might claim to be the world’s biggest and most powerful pipe band association, but it will never be the oldest. That honour belongs to the Victorian Highland Pipe Band Association of Australia, which this year celebrates its ninetieth anniversary, and will mark the milestone with the unveiling of their own tartan.
The VHPBA tartan, which, according to a statement from the VHPBA, features “the colours of Victoria and shades depicting the natural bush and gardens, the earth and gold,” will be introduced on June 14th at a special ceremony in Melbourne. The tartan has been recognized officially by the Scottish Registry of Tartans.
The event will see pipers and drummers gather from across the state of Victoria to celebrate the birthday of the VHPBA, which was formed at a meeting in Geelong, Australia, in 1924, seven years before the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.
The history of the VHPBA includes an all‐female pipe band travelling to Scotland in the 1920s, a band of mostly of Victorians on a UK tour in the 1950s, and, most famous of all, the 1998 win of the World Pipe Band Championship by the now-defunct Victoria Police Pipe Band.
“In the 1950s and 1960s, Victoria welcomed hundreds of Scottish immigrants armed with pipes and drums who played a big role in the development of appreciation and participation in Scottish culture,” said VHPBA President Tim McLeod. “Every community in Victoria has experienced the stirring sights and sounds of a pipe band at some time over the last 90 years, and Saturday will be a special celebration of the contributions we have made to the social fabric of Victoria and the advancement of pipe bands since Victoria led the world and formed a pipe band association.”