A cautionary tale from down under as Pipe Bands Australia suffers financial losses well into the six figures because of alleged embezzlement by a treasurer with single-signing authority. The case is still not resolved and, despite the misfortune, piping and drumming associations worldwide stop to take a look at their own governance and inevitably tighten things up.
As with the competition in Norfolk being scaled back, the once promising Spring Gatherin’ in Belfast nixed the 2017 event due to a collapse in funding. What started with a creative attempt to add some spice to the UK competition year, was met with challenges from the RSPBA reportedly putting political pressure on bands not to participate in competitions. Another cautionary tale.
The anti-nepotism policy that the RSPBA trialed in 2016 came to a quiet but sudden end as the organization pulled the plug on the effort. Brothers and fathers were back adjudicating their family in 2017. The pipe band world didn’t come to an end, but beer tent banter became a lot livelier.