June 30, 2017

Canada 150: the 15 Greatest Canadian Pipers & Drummers (deceased)

#10: Archie Dewar

Archie Dewar, 1945, while serving in Holland.

Pipe-Major Archie Dewar is synonymous with the Pipes & Drums of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, which he led from 1952 to 1965. He succeeded Pipe-Major James Fraser, also a legend, and such was the significance of the band that the passing of the leadership was broadcast live nationally on CBC Radio. A native of Bridge of Weir, Scotland, Dewar was born in 1910. He moved with his mother and three siblings in 1926 and joined the 48th in 1928, and served with the regiment in Holland in World War II. His son, Sandy, served with the 48th for some, and all three of Archie Dewar’s grandsons are with the 48th. He led the 48th Highlanders to six North American Pipe Band Championships, and in 1956-’57 won every contest they competed in, at a time when an Ontario season would comprise more than 15 events. Archie Dewar helped to form the Ontario Pipers Society (now the PPBSO) in 1947, with the first meeting of the organization at the 48th Highlanders of Canada’s Warrant Officers & Sergeants” Mess. He taught and influenced innumerable Canadian pipers until his death in 1995.



  1. Nice work! John Wilson published 3 collections of pipe music, the third being the Canadian Centenial collection…all three of which I continue to use and teach my students today…

    Mike Baker

  2. It is interesting that none of the excellent 15 selected musicians appear to be players who played predominantly for dancing. Today, we seem to be band players, solo competitors or piobaireachd pipers. Would there be any interest in a list of 150 ceilidh/dance pipers.



Forgotten Password?