SFU Drums, Harnesses and Covers Stolen/ Eric Ward Recovering after Operation

A drum similar to the stolen one

British Columbia’s Tri-city News reports the following:

Two custom drums owned by a world-class pipe band were swiped from a car parked overnight at a north side Port Coquitlam home yesterday (Sunday).

And musicians and staff with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band say the theft could land them in trouble as they ready for the world championships in Scotland.

The Andante snare drums — as well as two harnesses, soft-shell black cases, a backpack (containing a practice pad and drum sticks) and some personal items — were locked in the car trunk of a band member who had competed at the BC Highland Games and Scottish Festival at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam Town Centre Park Saturday.

Stolen drum cover

The band gathered that evening at another drummer’s home, near Terry Fox secondary, to celebrate its win with a barbecue meal. Afterward, the drummer got a ride home and left his vehicle and its contents in the driveway, where five more cars were parked.

It’s believed his car was broken into between 3:30 and 9:30 a.m.; however, none of the other cars was touched, homeowner Charlene Wallis told The Tri-City News Monday.

Wallis reported the incident to Coquitlam RCMP and, since then, has been scouring the neighbourhood as well as Craigslist and other online sites to see if the SFU-branded gear has turned up and is being illegally sold. She also has raised the alert with the school and Long & McQuade, which has a store nearby, while the Grade 1 band has posted about the loss on its Facebook page, showing images of the missing drums and equipment.

‘Hopefully, this is a hard sell,’ Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Mike McLaughlin said, ‘but typically, these are hard to trace as they have no serial numbers. This is a good reminder that when you leave your car, you take your valuables with you. Nothing should be inside.’

Rob Watt, a retired Mountie and the SFU pipe band secretary, said the band hopes to recover the specialized drums before it travels to the Kamloops and Skagit Valley competitions in the next few weeks. He said the band also has its eye on reclaiming the world title on the Glasgow Green Aug. 12 — an honour it has held six times since 1995.

Drum and harness

Watt said the theft has serious ramifications if the instruments are not found in time as the drums are finely tuned; spare drums brought up from junior bands isn’t an option for the Glasgow championships. “For this to happen, it impacts the whole organization,” he said. “It’s very frustrating.”

• Coquitlam RCMP asks anyone who finds the drums in person or online to contact police at 604-945-1550, quoting file number CQ2017-18440.


Champion Leading Drummer Eric Ward

Bleary & District Pipe Band report: ‘The band would like to pass on get well wishes to our leading drummer Eric Ward, who on Saturday during the March Past took unwell. Eric was taken to Craigavon hospital rapidly by St John’s Ambulance and after an operation yesterday he thankfully is well on the mend. The Ward family wish to thank everyone for their messages of support and well wishes. 

‘Eric’s son Cameron will be taking the drum corp reins until Eric is well enough to hit the circle again.’