Memorial Piping Competition Raises Substantial Sum for BC Cancer Research

By Robert MacNeil, President, British Columbia Pipers’ Society

A note for pipingpress.com that Alan Bevan won the 5th annual Boney Music Memorial Invitational on February 15, 2020, and over $2,800 was raised for brain cancer research at the BC Cancer Foundation. All the details and pictures are below.

I have also enclosed a picture of Alan receiving the trophy from Andrew’s son Cameron Bonar (above). It was a great night all around, especially being back at the historic Seaforth Armoury in Vancouver, the site of many BCPA competitions over the decades.

The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Pipes & Drums were very influential in the BCPA in its early decades. This influence was led by John Gillies, who was the Pipe Major of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards and left the Guards in 1911 to become the first Pipe Major of the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Pipes & Drums.

Left to right: Alastair Lee, Zephan Knichel, Jori Chisholm, Gordon Conn, Alan Bevan, Cameron Bonar, Scott Jamieson, Charlene Jamieson

Andrew Bonar was a leading piper with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and a member of the band during all of their World Pipe Band Championship wins. He was also a Northern Meeting Silver Medallist. Andrew passed away on October 13, 2017 surrounded by his family following a courageous battle against brain cancer.

Contest report: Alan Bevan captured ‘Boney V’, the newly coined term for the 5th annual Boney Music Memorial Invitational Piping Competition and Recital, held in the Anderson Room of the historic Seaforth Armoury.

The event raised over $2,800 for brain cancer research for the British Columbia Cancer Foundation, over $500 of which was donated from viewers watching the event online on the BC Pipers’ Association’s (BCPA) Facebook page.

The BC Pipers’ Association continued the event that BCPA Life Member Andrew Bonar began in 2016 to utilize piping to further advance charitable causes. A standing room crowd of over 100 people attended the event and a peak of 72 people watched online, the third year the event was livestreamed.



The players, Jori Chisholm, Gordon Conn, Alan Bevan, Zephan Knichel, and Alastair Lee put on significantly entertaining performances. James Beaumont was unable to attend due to road conditions in the BC Interior. Jeanette Bonar and daughter Kate were at the Highland dancing competition at the Queen Mary Scots Festival in Los Angeles and watched the event on the livestream.

The results were
1. Alan Bevan
2. Alastair Lee
3. Zephan Knichel

In a great tribute to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, before the results were announced, all five pipers gave an impromptu performance, marching into the Anderson Room playing Cabar Feidh (the tune of the Seaforth Highlanders) and marching out playing The Black Bear.

The adjudicators were unknown to the audience. Terry Lee, handled the Master of Ceremonies duties and Nurse Practitioner Rosemary Cashman of the BC Cancer Neuro-oncology Team and a nurse who cared for Andrew Bonar during his treatment spoke on the challenges in treatment advances for brain cancer and how donations support important research and therapy.

BCPA Board of Director member Jessica Reid handled the event preparations and donations aspects of the event. BCPA Chief Steward Lynn Bullis handled the competition side, and Mike Chisholm and myself handled the livestream and its online chat.



BCPA is deeply grateful to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada and in particular Lt. Col. Ed Haverstock, Commanding Officer of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, and Josh Muir, President of the Regimental Association for approval of the Armoury for the event, and Lead Drummer Colin Hearty, Pipe Major Daniel Bell, and Warrant Officer & Drum Major Ross Kennedy of the Regimental Pipes & Drums of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, and the assistance of many band and regiment members, in conducting the logistics for the event.

Photos from the event are in the BCPA Photo Gallery
https://www.bcpipers.org/photo-albums/ . Donations to the Boney Music Memorial Fund, which helps support the event and other causes that were dear to Andrew, can be made here
https://www.bcpipers.org/services/donations/

Overall, a wonderful evening that continues Andrew’s legacy of support for brain cancer research, ‘Inspiring Piping to Conquer Cancer’.


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