SFU family surprises Boney’s family

Published: September 15, 2017
(Page 1 of 1)

Every successful pipe band is a family of sorts, but there’s perhaps no greater familial feeling in the pipe band world than that of the Simon Fraser University organization. The Grade 1 band and many several of its alumni and friends gathered on the street where piper Andrew Bonar lives to ambush him and his family with a special performance on September 9th.

Bonar, one of the best pipers to emerge from Canada and a winner of the Silver Medal at the Northern Meeting among many other awards, has been courageously dealing with a rare form of brain cancer since he was diagnosed in 2014.

+ Andrew Bonar recovering following emergency brain surgery

The group, led by former Pipe-Major Terry Lee and with Bonar’s young son, Cameron, in its ranks, paraded down the street, ending up with a brief concert in his driveway. Andrew Bonar and several of his piping and work friends came out to enjoy the tribute of support.

Bonar’s daughter Kate, a champion dancer, delivered a Highland fling, and former members from the band from as far back as the 1980s travelled to join the tribute.

“We wish Andrew all the best and hope he makes a strong recovery,” the band said in a statement. “His perseverance is an inspiration to us all.”

Since Bonar last played with SFU at the 2014 World’s, the organization has held several events to raise money for brain cancer research, with amounts totaling more than $100,000.

Perhaps the most celebrated event was a full concert in March 2015 that was followed by a charity head-shaving of many band members, raising close to $35,000.

+ Cancer research gains nearly $35k from SFU band event

Bonar has been a front-rank piper with SFU since the late 1980s, playing in all six of the band’s World Championship victories. He has won most significant solo competitions in North American, including the MacCrimmon Cairn for Piobaireachd at the British Columbia Annual Gathering and the aggregate North American Championship at the Glengarry Highland Games at Maxville, Ontario. He has also published The Boney Collection, a book of his original compositions.

Simon Fraser University preparing to compete at the World Championships in the late 1980s. Andrew Bonar is furthest right in the second rank, behind Pipe-Sergeant Jack Lee.

Andrew Bonar was made a Life Member of the British Columbia Pipers Association in 2015.

+ Bonar made BCPA Life Member at BC Games

pipes|drums readers who wish to make a donation to the BC Cancer Foundation in Andrew Bonar’s name should do so here.


  1. Steven Tripp

    I think this is a really great thing for SFU to bring this to Andrews home. I wish I could have seen this in person. I hope everyone that reads this article donates something. Andrew is a true inspiration. He doesn’t even know this but when I was a kid he was such a great inspiration for me here in Ontario (even though he was not here for very long). I remember watching you play at one of the Ontario games Andrew. You played the Hens March and I had to learn it. I hope you beat this and my family wish you all the best. Thank you for being you and thank you for inspiring me to want to improve and learn. You and your family are in our thoughts. The Tripp Family.

The new pipes|drums app offers the same publication with a streamlined experience. Get the latest news optimized for your smartphone.
Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play
  • Term limits
    Tue, 23 Jan 2018
    Have you ever wondered why change is so slow to come with the rules, regulations, policies and practices of piping and drumming organizations? One cause could be term limits – or the lack of them – for elected executives and … Con …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS March 3, 2018Uist & Barra Solo Piping CompetitionCollege of Piping

March 3, 2018Redding Bagpipe CompetitionRed Lion Hotel Redding, California

March 23, 2018College of Piping LectureBirnam, Perthshire

March 24, 2018SPA Annual Solo Piping Competition for Adults Amateurs and VeteransCollege of Piping, Glasgow

March 31, 2018Toronto Indoor GamesMoss Park Armoury, Toronto

Drummers: When writing scores, collaborate with the pipe-major to ensure that the overall ensemble – the big key in a pipe band – is suitable to both corps. Then incorporate the mid-section.
Graham Kirkwood