Once again the band was out and about on New Year’s Eve in what has become something of a tradition for our members. The first parade at Kennedy Park is always popular with children following the band as march around the holiday park. Our visits to the clubs are always an opportunity to pass the buckets around as this is one of our important fund raising activities for the year. Its interesting to see the numbers in the clubs changing over the years and our collectors have commented that fewer people are carrying cash these days.
The finale on the parade with the crowd that gathers enjoying our music is something we look forward to. Marching away with a big crowd behind us is always a great way to end the evening.
A great afternoon’s entertainment was provided by the band and other artists. Typical of the feedback is this email from a fan: “I really enjoyed the concert yesterday and especially the second half of the concert with the music selection and Tracy’s song honouring Taradale’s soldiers. The pipes were amazing, very exciting to see the young musicians and can they pipe and drum! Congratulations on a varied and inspiring concert.”
We appreciated the support of A Cappella Fellas, the social group from the City of Hastings PB, Napier Boys High School PB and of course our own All Stars.
July Keeping Warm Workshop
Over the three days 11-13 July we enjoyed a workshop involving many of our members.
We covered the fundamentals and learnt some new music and refined other tunes. Young Ben even got on to the pipes, playing them for the first time with the group. We also went over the music to be played in the Recital on Sunday 16 July. After a busy week everyone is looking forward to having some time off next week!
June 20, 2017
The notice we put in the paper said ‘a perfect bandsman’ and those are not words that we would say lightly. When talking about our friend Bruce the list of adjectives includes dedicated, dependable, enthusiastic, hard working, helpful, reliable, supportive, cheerful and kind.
Bruce took up the pipes after he attended the clan MacLeod reunion in Australia in 1999. With typical Bruce determination and stickability he found a tutor, Gray Helliwell, so that in 2003 he was able to stand on stage and play Amazing Grace and Highland Cathedral at the clan MacLeod celebrations in Christchurch. He was persuaded, by Gray, to come along to a band practice and despite his initial trepidation, he was hooked. From 2004 Bruce has been a piper who enjoyed his piping and made a big contribution to the band. In his own words “not being one to give up easily I have persisted and slowly mastered a reasonable number of tunes”.
After the trip to Bundanoon in 2008 Bruce said “if I never progress beyond where I am today I will never regret joining the band and the enjoyment this band has brought me.”
Well, he did progress and in 2011 Bruce was a member of the band that played with the brass band in a concert to raise funds for the Christchurch earthquake appeal and in 2012 he again travelled to Australia, this time to Melbourne, with the band. Over the years he played in all our parades, whenever he could, and even purchased his own full uniform so he could look the part for Anzac Day and Art Deco parades.
We all have our own memories of Bruce but for me the effort he put into getting things right and playing to the best standard he could stand out. He was always cheerful and got a lot of enjoyment out of his music and band activities.
In the past few days band members have been reflecting on Bruce’s presence in the band and this is epitomised by these comments from the mother of two of our youngsters: “He was an extremely kind man to the kids at band. They spoke very highly of him and he will be sorely missed in the Napier Pipe Band.”
That was Bruce, always helping, always interested in piping and band things, always supportive of everyone.
To finish let me quote Bruce again. In the band’s 2009 book ‘Ten Busy Years’ he said ”We each have a talent which only needs awakening given the right opportunity. May our souls grow from the pleasure we bring to others through our music, our song and dance.”
Bruce, we are privileged that you have shared your talents and gifts with us, something we will always remember. May your soul rest in peace.
Photos from our Anzac Day parades
Photos from our activities in April 2017
Our visit to Tamatea Intermediate on Monday 10th
Nelson Park after the Cyclone Cook storm
Hastings Highland Games – Easter 2017
Photos from our March Supporters’ Night at the Taradale RSA