Canada 150: the 15 Greatest Canadian Pipers & Drummers (deceased)
#3: Jimmy McMillan
If there is such a thing as an unsung hero of Canadian piping and drumming, it is James “Jimmy” McMillan. Safe to say that without his dedicated teaching, the careers of Jack Lee, Terry Lee, Andrew Bonar, Robert MacNeil, to name a few, would not be what they became. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, McMillan’s piping benefitted from the years of World War II, when he became Pipe-Major of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, receiving piping tuition at Edinburgh Castle and getting regular lessons from Archie MacNeill, “The Blind Piper,” who actually willed his pipes to McMillan, whose son plays them today. McMillan was a great purveyor of not only his piping knowledge, but that of others, bringing in the likes of Donald MacLeod, John MacLellan, Robert Reid and Bob Brown to the British Columbia scene, with a truly open-minded attitude. McMillan’s influence on Canada’s piping success is incalculable, but is directly attributable to the success of the Lee brothers and the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band.