Our History

The Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band celebrated its celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2008 and is believed to be the oldest street pipe band with unbroken service in Ontario. Founded in 1908, by Pipe Major William Young, the band first hit the street in late 1909 originally wearing the McKenzie Tartan and boasting a membership of 5 Pipers, 4 Drummers, and a Drum Major. For the first 20 years of their existence their ranks varied from 9-20 members and even included the renowned drummer, Albert Tucker, who had the honour of being chosen as the lead drum for the funeral of King Edward, in 1910.

The band played at many occasions all over Ontario including Garden Parties, Reunions, Fall Fairs, Opening Ceremonies, Weddings, and Funerals. In 1922 the band changed to the Gordon Tartan, which they wore until 1994. By 1929, Pipe Major Young retired due to failing health and Donald MacDonald became the new Pipe Major. During his leadership years, the band played on the radio out of London, Ontario, traveled with the Kincardine Fire Brigade to their field days, and, in 1935, led the parade when the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable R.B. Bennett, came to Kincardine.

In 1939, James Irvine took over as Pipe Major, and barely kept the band together through the war years. After the war the Renowned Kincardine Saturday Night Parades started. In 1947, the band elected their first executive, the president being Paul MacKay, and secretary Ernie Fisher. The Legion was a big help as sponsor to the band by providing some equipment, and uniforms. In 1950 the Kincardine merchants outfitted the band with new Gordon Tartans. Henry Lamont became Pipe Major at this time and the band had their own hat badge designed by a well known band member, Mac Webster. Henry led the band till 1992 and took the band to places like Florida, California, and Scotland, where they played at Edinburgh Castle.

Watson Morris, a student of Henrys, took over as Pipe Major in 1992, and served for 2 years before joining a competition band in Toronto. At that time the band consisted of six pipers, three snare drummers, two tenor drummers and a bass drummer. Watson deserves many thanks for taking on the band at such a difficult time when much of the expertise retired at the same time. In 1992, Watson brought in open class piper, Paul McLelland to assist with band instruction. 1992 also marked the beginning of our annual Gathering of the Bands, which takes place on the weekend before Labour Day. The Band invites pipers and drummers to Kincardine to take part in a Gathering and a massed band parade.

Basil McCarthy was elected to the position of Pipe Major in 1994 and with the help of Paul McClelland the band set out to encourage membership by developing guidelines for piping and drumming instruction. In 1995 the band had become a charitable organization, pipe and drum instruction was a priority, the membership had nearly doubled and the band began wearing the Kincardine Tartan. In 1996, in honour of legendary Donald Sinclair the band introduced the Phantom piper who plays atop the Kincardine Lighthouse every sunny summer evening (excluding Saturdays) at sunset.

The first few years of the new millennium saw the Cairn erected at Victoria Park in honour of past, present and future pipers & drummers, the commemoration of the Phantom Piper rock in honour of the legendary Donald Sinclair at the base of the lighthouse and new leadership under the direction of Jennifer Farrell as Pipe Major.

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© 2014 Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band