History: A Look Back 30 Years to Piping on Canada’s West Coast

Jack Lee at home in BC…

The following is from the British Columbia Pipers’ Society Newsletter of December 1992….

Jack Lee Brings Home the Bratach Gorm….On Saturday, November 7th, Jack won the prestigious Bratach Gorm in London, England. Competing against 11 Scots and one other Canadian, he brought the banner to Canada for the very first time.

He played the piobaireachd Lord Lovat’s Lament, that memorable tribute to Simon Fraser of the ’45.

Jack’s great win, coupled with his previous Gold medal at the Northern Meeting, elevates him to the very top ranks of the world’s pipers.

Jack Lee was raised in Surrey where he has lived for 30 years. He is the devoted husband of Christine and together they share in the raising of three young children.

His work at Chevron is demanding, but nevertheless he finds time to teach youngsters and also to participate in the Simon Fraser Pipe Band of which he is Pipe Sergeant.

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Iain Mackinnon 1924 -1992

This is a truly sad day for the BC Pipers at the passing of Iain Ormsaig Mackinnon. Iain was born in Victoria BC but moved to Vancouver at an early age. Iain’s father was from Ormsaig, Mull. Iain started piping aged eight and joined Templeton Boys’ Pipe Band when he was 14.

In 1943 Iain joined the Navy and served on a frigate. On leaving the Navy he was active in pipe bands until 1980. Iain had been on the board of the BCPA for many years, was a teacher and one of our most respected judges.

The BC Pipers’ Newsletter with Iain MacKinnon’s picture on the front cover

Iain and his wife Mary were the BC ambassadors to Britain. They were a fixture at the World Pipe Band Championships, and Oban and Inverness and would approach judges for our Indoor Meet. Their hospitality was second to none and all judges spent time at their home.

On retirement he started a bagpipe repair workshop in his own garage…many pipes went in broken and came out better than ever. The funeral was held on Saturday, November 28th, and Peter Aumonier played ‘Iain Ormsaig Mackinnon’ composed by Michael Grey.

BC Knock Out

A large crowd greeted the competitors enthusiastically for this opening round. The standard of piping was good. Jack Lee gave a solid performance on a nicely balanced, well-tuned pipe.

Andrew Bonar, who has just moved back to the west coast after two-year sabbatical in Toronto, was welcomed with a strong ovation. His performance was solid with the technique just as we remembered it, although his pipe was a little rough and perhaps lacking in balance.

Alan Walters gave a crowd pleasing performance. The pipe was well-tuned and although the reel playing was on the quick side, the overall effect was good.

Alan Walters, formally of Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band

Rod Weeks gave his usual smooth (easy listening as Iain MacKinnon used to say) performance. His pipe was not up to his usual standard, a thin top hand detracted from his fine playing.

Unfortunately Duncan Fraser was fighting the pipe a wee bit and no doubt this distracted him more than the audience. Richard Brown’s playing, a touch careful in spots, came across well.

The players to advance were Jack Lee, Andrew Bonar, Alan Walters and Richard Brown. The judges were James Watt, Hal Senyk and Darleen Miharija.

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