It is with sincere regret that we learn of the passing of Alan Walters, British Columbia, renowned piper, teacher and adjudicator, writes the Editor. Alan died at his home in Surrey, BC.
Alan was a brilliant piper with fingers as good as any I have ever heard – and that includes the best pipers over the past 60 years. He was highly musical, naturally gifted. He travelled to Scotland in the early 70s to take lessons from P/M Donald MacLeod who I believe he had met at the Fort Qu’appelle school in Saskatchewan.
Whilst here he joined Muirhead & Sons under P/M RG Hardie. He was an instant success with the band members, always ready with a smile and the heart and soul of any company. At practice he astonished everyone with his finger dexterity, switching hands, top hand for bottom, often with a cigarette between his fingers and not a hint of interruption in the flow of melody. But this was no circus act. Alan’s technique was precise, exact, definitive.
Another pupil of Donald’s, Dougie Ferguson (Islay), kindly accommodated Alan at his home in Kirkintilloch where again the young, affable Canadian was warmly welcomed into the local community.
Alan benefited greatly from his tuition from two master pipers and competed regularly with success at junior competitions. On one such trip to St Andrews his pipes were stolen. Such was Alan’s popularity that the piping community rallied round to get the young man a new set from Donald’s shop, Grainger & Campbell. Modified slightly by Bob Hardie, this became an outstanding replacement set.
Fast forward to the 90s and I teamed up with Alan again at the Couer d’Alene school in Idaho and later at the Saskatchewan school in Regina. Always the same was Alan James Walters. Supreme piper, superb company and always a credit to himself and Canadian piping.
Over the years one loses touch with old friends, but all who knew Alan will remember him with warmth and pleasure both for his company and his music.
Captain Ian C Cameron
We are grateful to Richard Cameron, the former and highly respected Piping Convenor of the Northern Meeting, for this definitive information….
I refer to your Editor’s Notebook issued 11th July 2022. It has been forwarded to me by Carol Marshall, Admin Officer of the Army School of Piping and Highland Dancing, Edinburgh.
May I introduce myself as the nephew of Capt. Ian C Cameron MAIE, ACII, FSA Scot. about whom Amy Puryear makes enquiries. The facts are as follows:
Captain Ian Currie Cameron was born in Islay on 10th January 1909, son of Major William Grant Cameron and Christina Georgina Currie, and younger brother of my father, Duncan R Cameron.
Both sons were top class pipers, Duncan becoming Pipe Major of Edinburgh City Police pipe band and Ian becoming a successful solo player and composer of many pipe tunes.
I am not certain as to my uncle’s early tutors, but I venture to suggest that it would have been the MacEacherns and or MacNivens of Islay. He might also have taken lessons from Roddy Campbell, an Islay man who settled in Edinburgh and was a renowned tutor and composer.
Capt Ian C Cameron was not related to the Ian Colin Cameron referred to. Indeed I am not aware of any ‘Colins’ in our family history. My uncle’s father, William Grant Cameron, originated from Laggantygowan, immediately north of Aviemore and he settled in Islay as schoolmaster at Newton of Kilmeny, serving between 1899 and 1929.
His mother, Christina G Currie, originated from Port Ellen, Islay. Captain Ian C Cameron married Flora MacAskill from Broadford in Skye, and they settled in Edinburgh during the Second World War. They had two sons, namely Ian Clifford Cameron and Alastair Lorne Cameron, both now sadly deceased.
Captain Ian C. Cameron died 7th November 1990 and is buried in Liberton Cemetery, Edinburgh. I hope this is of assistance to your enquirer. Richard William Grant Cameron.
4 thoughts on “Alan Walters/ Captain Ian Cameron”
A long-time mentor and friend to all of us pipers in Alaska, Alan’s passing is so difficult to accept. In the years when he worked with the Crow Creek Band in Anchorage, his energy, focus, and high-spirits did more to advance the level of playing up here than any other person. A peerless teacher, his many visits over the years were always welcome, and always produced wonderful musical progress among the players who had the privilege of his tuition. Most of all, he was a friend whose loss we mourn, and to whose memory many glasses will be raised here in the northwest.
Sorry to hear of Alan’s passing. Great memories of the man and his playing from a few (?!?) decades back in those juvenile contests
I am gutted to hear of Alan’s death. He was well known to us in Oregon and the NW North America. He was also a guest in our home when visiting; always quick with a robust laugh. We all have such fond memories of him (and, yes, including him playing with a cigarette between his fingers). Thank you for the wonderful bio on an even more wonderful guy.
Very interesting. I remember P/M Duncan Cameron as a very pleasant old man perhaps in his 90s when he judged solo piping at Cowal in the very early 1980s. He would be found at the end of the day enjoying the hospitality of the peerless licensee Hughie Wallace in the ‘select’ back room of his hostelry the Lorne Bar on Argyll Street, Dunoon. Fascinating to talk to, because of his age he went right back to the pre-war in his reminiscences. Cowal Games in those days was a superb weekend.