Lorraine Ronaldson was appointed a Director of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association representing the Northern Ireland Branch (RSPBANI) at the branch meeting on Saturday 31st March, writes John Kelly.
This appointment of a third Northern Ireland Branch Director is a new position – the other two directors are Kenny Crothers and Arlene Faulkner. Lorraine was installed as President of the County Down Section of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland in March 2014 in succession to the late Wilfred McFadden MBE who served the section and the community for many years.
Speaking of her new appointment Lorraine said: ‘My grateful thanks go to the NI Branch Executive and the NI bands for their support. I consider it an honour to represent the NI Branch. This is a new challenge for me in the pipe band world; I am looking forward to it and shall carry out my duties to the best of my ability.
‘My grandfather, the late Edward McVeigh JP MBE, was President of the Co Down Section many years ago in addition to being Honorary President of the NI Branch. He was the first and one of only two in NI to hold the Chairmanship in Scotland (that was before I was born). He, with many others, was instrumental in NI being adopted as a branch of the Association in its own right.
‘I began my time in the pipe band world as a piper with the Leapoughs Pipe Band. It was an enjoyable time, with many happy memories and was a very good, solid grounding within the grass roots of the organisation for what lay ahead for me. During this time I also was asked to join the branch compiling team under the watchful eye of the late Ernie Clarke compiling officer.
‘There were four of us in the team Ernie, Quintin my late cousin Edith McVeigh and myself we had great fun. After the compiling team I was elected as Secretary of the NI Branch to follow on from Fred Walker. This was after Fred had retired from the post of Executive Officer after completing 38 years. I loved this office as I met, and was involved with, so many people from all walks of life. Due to time constraints with my daily workload I was forced to relinquish this position. I was then elected as Promotions Officer for the Branch, a post I held for two years.
‘Through the RSPBA I met my husband Alan Ronaldson from Edinburgh, an Ensemble and Piping Adjudicator. Alan in his younger years was very much involved competitively in solo piping and was a member of the Woolmet Pipe Band. He then joined the Lothian and Borders Police and was for many years playing at top-level with their band until retiring from competitive playing and becoming a full member of the RSPBA Adjudicators Panel.’