A Sketch of History


Band in Remembrance Day March - 1975

Band in Remembrance Day March – 1975

The Mount Arrowsmith Pipe Band was formed in 1975 with a commitment to the preservation, promotion and education of Gaelic culture through musical performance.  The band adopted its name in recognition of the special support provided by the Parksville Royal Canadian Legion, Mount Arrowsmith Branch 49.  Mark Clark served as the band’s first Pipe Major.

 

Band members at the Coombs Fall Fair - 1977

Band members at the Coombs Fall Fair – 1977

 

 

For the next few years, the band continued to develop and perform at various local events under the direction of Pipe Major Bob Landon.  From an enthusiastic beginning in 1975, interest in band participation unfortunately waned.  The band became inactive from late 1977 until 1984, when the band was re-organized by Garth Pritchard and Tom MacPherson, again with the support of the Parksville Legion Branch 49.

 

 

In 1986, under the leadership of Pipe Major Donald Mathewson, the band began to grow and flourish and again became involved in a number of community events.  From the early to mid-90’s until 2001 the band had four different Pipe Majors:  Bill Poppy, John Avery, Arliss MacNeil and Jim Rowley.

 

2003 Mel Wilson with Lt. Gov and Aide

P/M Mel Wilson with Lt. Govenor and Aide 2003

The Mount Arrowsmith Pipe Band of today, with its strong components of piping and drumming, education and community involvement, is largely the result of the hard work and dedication of Mel Wilson.  Mel became the Pipe Major in 2001, and provided the band with leadership, direction and stability until 2014.

Josh Dieleman assumed the role of Pipe Major in 2014, and continues to lead the band in performing in the community, and supporting new pipers and drummers.

 

 

 

Mount Arrowsmith Pipe Band - 2014

Mount Arrowsmith Pipe Band performing at the 2014 Canada Day Parade in Parksville, BC