A sad loss this week with the passing of John MacDougall. John was a hugely respected figure and a great example to the younger generation of solo competitors with his dedication to his art, his prodigious ability. On the boards he was a fearsome competitor, very seldom ever opening the door to a rival with a slip or a poor pipe or a missed taorluath; off the boards a thorough gentleman, encouraging, complimentary.
I had the honour of sharing the judge’s bench with him on a number of occasions and here you were struck by his integrity and determination to get the right result to the very best of his knowledge and ability. Good company too, with plenty of anecdotes and humourous banter.
At Oban a few years ago he was becoming less mobile and rather than join the rest of the bench for lunch at the nearby rugby club, John sat patiently in the judge’s tent whilst we rallied round bringing refreshment to him and later hurrying back to keep him company. He accepted his situation with a characteristic lack of self-regard, his thoughts never wavering from his day’s duty – to place the best performances in the correct order. Rest in peace my friend.
To remind everyone, John’s funeral will be held at Inverness Crematorium on Thursday 25th of February at 1pm. Directions here.
Everything all set for the South Florida Pipe & Drum Academy next week. Forty one students in total, pipe places all gone but still some room for drummers. Here’s the poster for the closing concert which will be held outdoors – incredible given that as I write the freezing rain and wind are battering on the PP office windows.
The National Piping Centre has its juvenile solo competition today so get along to support the children if you can. Piping is in the Centre and chanter in the nearby Holiday Inn hotel in West Nile Street, Glasgow.
Reader Bob Ash has left a new comment on the post ‘P/M Joe Wilson, Gordon Highlanders‘: ‘I remember Joe when he played with British Caledonian Airways Pipes & Drums during the 70s and 80s. It was once reported in the UK national press that Joe had been sent to play in the wilds of the USSR and was so popular with the locals there that the communist authorities stopped him from performing further and sent him home!’
That sounds like Joe [pictured top] Bob; a very underrated piper, a fine man and a fine teacher. I can highly recommend his collection of pipe tunes which is available from all good Highland supplies outlets.
If you are down Brisbane way the Queensland Highland Pipers Society Quartets are happening around now at the Brisbane Boys College Band Room; Admission for non-members $10, members $5 Entry for competitors $5 per person. Apologies if my time zones are all ahoo.