Published: March 21, 2016

Fred Walker passes away

Fred Walker in 2014.

Fred Walker, the longest-serving Secretary, former President and a Life Ambassador of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s Northern Ireland Branch, has died.

Walker originally took the office of Secretary in 1965 and held the post until he stepped down in 2001 and then served as President from 2006 to 2014, when he retired, handing over the position to Winston Pinkerton. Walker was then made an honourary Life Ambassador of the RSPBANI.

Fred Walker was one of the most well-known officials in the pipe band movement in Ireland and is recognized as being instrumental in shaping the branch into the force it is today, as probably the largest and most successful in the association. Walker’s formative years in the branch were influenced by many of its founders, such as President J.A. Faulkner, Chairman Eddie McVeigh and Walker’s predecessor as Secretary, Tom Hart.

Walker began his playing career as a side drummer with the now defunct Legacurry Pipe Band. For decades he announced the results at local competitions, and many will remember him affectionately for his witty comments generally relating to the geographical location that a prize winning band may have come from and particularly his misuse of an old war time slogan, which became a catchphrase, when he would remark that a “band’s journey had been really necessary” if they had travelled a long distance to obtain a prize.

Fred Walker was known as an absolute gentleman in the truest sense of the phrase. Our sympathies are with his family and many friends at this sad time.

The funeral will be at 10:30 am, on March 24th at Carnmoney Presbyterian Church, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland.

With details courtesy of Gilbert Cromie.

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