It is with great regret that we report the passing of P/M Iain Morrison, Back, isle of Lewis, one of the finest pipers of the 20th century. Iain had not been in good health in the recent past having had spells in hospital in Glasgow and Inverness. After a recent relapse, he was being cared for in hospital in Stornoway but sadly passed away this afternoon.
A pupil of Pipe Major Donald MacLeod from boyhood, Iain joined the Queen’s Own Highlanders as a boy soldier travelling the world but at the same time competing for all the top prizes when service allowed.
He won the Gold Medal at Inverness in 1969 playing the Lament for the Viscount of Dundee. His greatest years on the boards were in 1981-1982 when he won just about every contest he entered including the Clasp at Inverness, the Silver Chanter and the Glenfiddich Championship.
His playing was characterised by a superb musicality seldom equalled and never bettered, except perhaps by his mentor, P/M MacLeod.
It was in Donald’s memory that Iain instituted the prestigious Donald MacLeod Memorial competition, a competition designed to bring the very best pipers to his native isle for the benefit of the piping community there, and also for young players, keen as he was that a high standard of piping be maintained on the island.
Iain was, for a while, also an instructor in schools on Lewis and had many excellent pupils who all bore his musical hallmark.
Piping has lost a master player, a man who truly had the gift. It was great privilege to know him and to have heard him play. I am sure the piping world would like to join me in offering sincere condolences to Flora and family in their grief. RW
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