Kirk Johnstone, 1949-2013
A stalwart pillar of the greater Montreal Scottish community, Kirk Johnstone died on the morning of September 24, 2013, peacefully this morning after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was Pipe-Major of the 306 Wing Air Force Association Pipe Band, 401 Squadron Pipes & Drums, Pipe-Sergeant with The Black Watch (RHR) of Canada Pipes & Drums, piper with 401 Squadron Pipe Band, 438 THS Band, Clan Sutherland, City of St Laurent Pipe Band, City of Toronto Pipe Band and 78th Fraser Highlanders (Montreal).
Since the early-1990s, Kirk was president of the Montreal Highland Games, and later a founding member and first president of the Quebec Piping & Drumming Society. He was also a founding member of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario’s Ottawa Branch.
Kirk Johnstone was a council member of the Saint Andrew’s Society of Montreal, a member of the Quebec Thistle Council, piper at Ogilvie’s department store in Montreal and a regular piper for Montreal Highland dancing competitions.
He was a piping teacher of many students over the years, and created businesses in the manufacture of pipe chanter reeds, hose for pipe bands, and other pipe band accoutrements.
Kirk Johnstone will be missed dearly by scores of pipers, drummers, Highland dancers and others across the country and beyond.
– contributed by Cameron Stevens
Kirk was a key influence in teaching me my basics as a young piper in Montreal’s Clan Sutherland Pipe Band, and I credit him as part of any subsequent success I’ve had in my piping career. I will add to Cam’s comments that Kirk was a solid Open solo player, and also played with the City of Toronto (Caber Feidh), alongside folks such as Gerry Quigg. Perhaps that’s where Kirk first got the idea to challenge the system and try innovative new ways to enhance piping and drumming. I piped at Debbie’s and his wedding, and I cherish the memory of playing alongside Kirk at their 40th anniversary last year. Kirk was one of my best friends, and I will miss him very much. All my deepest condolences to Debbie and the kids. Doug MacLeod