“Pretty cool!” – Inverness Gold Medal finally gets to Nick Hudson at surprise presentation
While Nick Hudson was performing “Lament for the the Laird of Anapool” on the Eden Court Theatre stage at the 2022 Northern Meeting, on his way to winning the Highland Society of London Gold Medal for piobaireachd, he didn’t know that his wife was in labour back in Houston on the way to delivering Alan, the couple’s first-born.
Minutes after he learned that he had won the prestigious prize, catapulting him into the piping history books, Hudson caught the next flight back home to be with his family as quickly as possibly.
As a result, he missed the prize-giving ceremony the next day and never obtained the medal itself.
All was made right and more with a surprise presentation at the the New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival at Loon Mountain, New Hampshire, on September 17, where Hudson travelled to judge.
It turned out Competing Pipers Association president and New Jersey resident Derek Midgley looked after the medal before leaving Inverness himself, keeping it safe in his luggage as he made his own way home.
I hadn’t yet seen the medal, having to leave right away on the Thursday of the Northern Meeting. Very special. – Nick Hudson
Along with eastern United States Pipe Band Association President Jim Dillahey and Arthur McAra, celebrated announcer at many Highland games around the eastern US, the three staged a surprise presentation of the medal at the Loon Mountain closing ceremonies.
“Derek picked up the award at the Friday prize-giving at Inverness and had been hanging on to it since then,” Hudson said. “Derek, Jim and Arthur devised a surprise and thoughtful way to do the hand-off when we were all up judging at the New Hampshire games at Loon. I hadn’t yet seen the medal, having to leave right away on the Thursday of the Northern Meeting. Very special.”
Not only did Midgley, who’s also a contender for the same prize, present the medal, but he composed a tune for newborn Alan Hudson, which was picked for him to play in the 6/8 march event.
“We wanted to try and surprise Nick and make it a bit more special than it could have been,” Dillahey said. “Nick certainly deserved it. It was truly an honor to be a part of that presentation in front of the crowd at the Loon Mountain Games.”
Hudson summed up his eventful few weeks in two words: “Pretty cool!”
Here’s a video of the presentation of the award to newly-minted Gold Medallist Nick Hudson: