Steve Geddes, 1950-2014
George Stephen “Stevie” Geddes, the long-time pipe-sergeant of the Grade 1 City of Victoria Pipe Band, died on March 4, 2014, in his 64th year following a prolonged illness.
As is the case with many pipe-sergeants of prominent bands, Geddes held a strong reputation for those in the know for excellence in technique and tone, and he committed himself for more than 30 years to City of Victoria, also serving as the band’s manager.
With the leadership combination of Pipe-Major James Troy, Leading-Drummer John Fisher and Geddes, the band was throughout the 1970s the major force on the British Columbia scene, producing myriad victories and prizes, the most significant of which was a sixth at the two-day 1979 World Pipe Band Championship in Nottingham, England, at which it finished sixth, but was said by many to have actually deserved to win the competition outright.
For more than five decades, Stevie Geddes contributed to the British Columbia Pipers Association and associated Highland games in the Pacific Northwest as an organizer and adjudicator. In 2013 he was made a Lifetime Member of the Victoria Highland Games.
Geddes’s memory was commemorated in “Captain Geddes’s Turnabout,” a popular hornpipe by Colin Magee, after Geddes persuaded the Captain of a massive BC Ferry to return to Victoria in the middle of a long voyage to collect City of Victoria Pipe Band instruments left on the dock by ferry staff.
We extend our sympathies to Steve Geddes’s family and friends at this sad time.
Steve Geddes was a great guy and I always admired him. He and Jamie Troy started the City of Victoria Pipe Band from scratch and it went on to become one of the top bands in the world. As a young piper in the band, Steve¡¯s encouraging manner and rock-solid bagpipe skills were really appreciated by all of us around him. He left us far too young but I am very grateful that I knew him.
Wow, still in shock! The late Ian Mackinnon coined the term “Metal Mitts” to describe Steve’s great hands. His execution was flawless and his MSR’s simply superb. Had he an interest in competing in Scotland or Central Canada, I’m sure his name would adorn most of the light music prizes. Steve and I were arch rivals (but firm friends) in the early ’70’s with the start of the Grade 1 era in B.C. Indeed he even played a couple of contests with Triumph Street the season before City of Victoria got off the ground. We often played “impromptu sextets”, he and Jamie and maybe Colin Magee along with three or four of us from TSPB, at the early knock-outs back when that sort of practice was encouraged. In later years we often judged together and I was always sure to have him on our panel at the BC Highland Games. Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Barb, his two daughters and the rest of the Geddes family. Angus & Judi Macpherson
Steve Geddes was my Cousin, him and his brother Bob and my Aunt and Uncle use to come to Ontario to visit with our grandmother and would bring his pipes and play in our back yard, he was instrumental in getting me started in pipe bands for over 35 years ( side drum bass drum and swinging tenor ), you are gone but not forgotten Steve, and your cousin and my brother Stephen has gone to join you all i know you and my son Chris well look after him. R.I.P Steven.