Worrall, MacDonald made Life Members by PPBSO
The Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario awarded an Honourary Life Membership to Bob Worrall and Charlie MacDonald at the organization’s annual general meeting in Brantford, Ontario, on November 8th. The award is the highest given by the organization and is specifically for contributions to the PPBSO.
Worrall is known throughout the piping world for his work as a teacher, adjudicator, organizer, host and performer. During his years as a dominant competitor from 1971 to 1984, he won 12 Solo Champion Supreme awards, given to overall competitive success over a season, and he was one of the first non-Scottish pipers to make a strong mark in Scotland, in 1977 winning both the March and the Strathspey & Reel at the Northern Meeting.
With the PPBSO he was instrumental in establishing the organization’s judging accreditation process, which has been used as a model around the world. He served in various elected and appointed positions with the PPBSO, including more than 15 years with its Music Board.
In 1995 he worked to start the George Sherriff Memorial Amateur Invitational Solo Piping Competition, which has become one of the most important events for amateur pipers around the world. The 19th annual “Sherriff” will take place on November 15th in Hamilton, Ontario.
In 1987, Worrall was one of the first non-UK judges to be approved to adjudicate pipe bands in Scotland. Since that time he has been a regular judge at the World Pipe Band Championships, and, more recently, is a frequent adjudicator of top solo piing contests in the UK.
Worrall has taught piping locally to individuals and around the world in workshop settings, with many of his students rising to the top levels of competition. Over the last 10 years he has been a frequent host of piping and drumming events, most noteworthy as co-host of BBC Scotland’s live streaming broadcast of the World Pipe Band Championships.
Charlie MacDonald’s contributions to the organization have involved holding every executive-level position, and was President from 2009-2011. Over the years MacDonald contributed to many important initiatives, including the redevelopment of the organization’s bylaws, moving it to a more professionally structured, business-like entity.
A piper, MacDonald was a member of the Grade 1 St. Thomas / McNish Distillery Pipe Band from the late-1960s to early-1980s, and was pipe-major of the Downsview Pipe Band. He also competed in the Open solo category for many years.
He serves as the PPBSO’s historian, and is known for his attention to detail as the longest-serving member of the organization’s executive committee.
Worrall and MacDonald were presented with their Life Member Awards by PPBSO President Duncan MacRae.