Lochaber Piping Society Juniors/ Piobaireachd Society Conference/ Pipe Bands Australia's Bob Semple OAM BEM

Ken Cameron, Chairman of the Lochaber Piping Society: Attached is the Entry Form for our Junior Competition on 28th March and I would be grateful if you could post it on Piping Press. We are very thankful to the Piobaireachd Society for the new sponsorship we have received for the 2020 competition which includes substantial prizes for our main ceol mor events.

The last page of the entry form is a poster advertising our recital programmed for the evening before the competition and featuring performances by two of our judges (Gordon McCready and Bill Geddes – pictured above).

Hopefully this will encourage entrants to travel up the night before the competition and come along to the recital. I have also attached a separate poster in case you wish to use it in some form:



The Piping Centre have announced that there are still beds available in their hotel for the weekend of the Piobaireachd Society Conference to be held there on March 21. They have four rooms for the Friday evening (20th) and six for the Saturday (21st).

These are offered at £120 based on two sharing (includes breakfast) or £90 single occupancy (includes breakfast). Contact the Centre on 0141 353 0220 to book. There is a 10% discount on these figures for PS Members who should mention ‘Piobaireachd Society Conference’ when booking.

The Society have produced a smart new poster advertising the Conference:

Click on thre poster for more info and to book tickets. They start at £10 for students and rise to £55 for full day plus evening dinner. Talks at the Conference includes those on John MacKay Raasay, James Campbell and the Elusive Appogiatura, the Influence of the Boys’ Brigade on Piping and the Life and Music of Hugh MacCallum.

There will also be a look at the Senior Set Tunes for 2020 with demonstrations and short discussions on all of the pieces: The Unjust Incarceration, Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmon, Sound of the Waves, MacLeod of Colbeck, Lament for the Harp Tree, Mrs MacLeod of Talisker, Lament for Patrick Og, and the Laird of Anapool, Cherede Darievea and Lament for King George III.


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Chris Earl of Pipe Bands Australia has sent this: Our Pipe Bands Australia chieftain Bob Semple, in his 100th year, has passed away in Melbourne after a short illness. 

Bob will be remembered as a great Australian who unselfishly served his nation and the pipe band community with dignity and amazing commitment throughout his life. 

For 75 years a member of the Hawthorn band, Bob was seven times Australia champion drum major and was Principal Drill and Dress for a decade from 1977. 

Piper and war hero Bob Semple OAM BEM

A life member of Pipe Bands Australia and inaugural inductee into the Hall of Fame, Bob was appointed chieftain of Pipe Bands Australia in 1998. In this role, he provided wisdom and strength to movement and was constantly sought out by members of our movement who received his encouragement freely delivered with hope and optimism. 

Bob was a veteran of World War Two and one of the few surviving Rats of Tobruk. He has enlisted in the Victorian Scottish Regiment in 1936 and served in the Middle East, New Guinea and Borneo, rising to the rank of sergeant. 

In 2018, Bob was guest speaker at the Australian War Memorial commemoration on ANZAC Day. Bob was also a member of the Rats of Tobruk Memorial Pipes and Drums, formed in 1961 as a living tribute to the Rats. He performed as a piper with the Rats on several overseas tours including the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Middle East. 

In additional to being an accomplished piper, Bob was also proficient on violin and took that instrument with him to the war. The legacy and memory of Bob Semple will live through the performance of music and the coming together of people to share music and fellowship. As pipe bands we are, as Bob would always say, in the entertainment business. 

Last September, Bob again attended the biennial conference of Pipe Bands Australia where he was applauded for amazing commitment to our movement. Bob Semple lived respected. We celebrate the wonderful life of this great Australian and for being able to share time with him. 


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