#TBT – a pipes|drums throwback pic

Published: November 02, 2017

Our #ThrowbackThursday series of never-before-published photographs from the past continues with another contribution from reader Allan Skalazub of British Columbia.

The scene: The Caledonia Club of San Francisco’s Highland Games at Santa Rosa, California. It’s September 1978. The subjects are two of the most-talked-about Grade 1 pipe-majors of the time, Jamie Troy of City of Victoria and Hal Senyk of Triumph Street.

They are great friends and rivals. The next year, 1979, would be a watershed day in pipe band history, when Triumph Street would place fifth and City of Victoria sixth at the World Championships in Nottingham, England, the strongest result in history for non-UK Grade 1 bands.

Triumph Street’s prize was thanks in large part to its drum section placing first, under Lead-Drummer Willie McEarlen, while City of Victoria was thought by many to have been robbed of the World Championship outright.

The event in many ways opened the door for and encouraged other “overseas” bands to travel to the World’s, beginning the shakeup of the competition from being a major championship commensurate with the other four RSPBA events, to being the global spectacle it is today, attracting thousands of tourists and tens-of-millions of pounds to Scotland’s economy.

We thank Allan Skalazub for sharing the photo, and we invite readers who would like to share their own never-before-published images to send them our way by email.

Pipe-Major Jamie Troy, City of Victoria, and Pipe-Major Hal Senyk, Triumph Street, Santa Rosa, 1978.

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