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Get the band back together

Saturday, 6th March, 2021

The Cameron Pipe Band around 20 years ago after a successful recruitment program with was a success it getting many young members involved. PICTURE: Supplied The Cameron Pipe Band around 20 years ago after a successful recruitment program with was a success it getting many young members involved. PICTURE: Supplied

By Emily Ferguson

The Cameron Pipe Band are looking for new members to join and help get the band back piping through the local streets. 

Cameron Pipe Band Secretary and Piping Coordinator, Brian Wood said there is currently a severe lack of members. 

“We haven’t got sufficient numbers to actually go out and play as a band,” he said.

“Piping wise we’ve probably got a total of three members that are able to pipe and we have a drum core of two players who are quite good young players.”

The Cameron Pipe Band has a long history in Broken Hill.

“We’ve been playing in Broken Hill since the early 1950’s and a lot of us are members that started a while back.

“I’ve actually got 63 years’ service with the band this year, I’m not able to play at the moment because of health reasons but I’ve kept my interest over the last few years to try and keep the band up and goin.”

The band recently had to sell the hall they worked for and built themselves.

“It became a bit of a liability to us to be able to upkeep that hall and when we had all these young one we had all the parents that were there to help fundraise and keep the band going financially, all these things have drifted away.

“We’re still practicing in our old hall, it’s still under the Cameron Pipe Band Hall but it belongs to the Silver City Motorcycle Club, they bought it from us and they’ve been very good about it all. 

“After we sold it to them they wanted us to continue our practices there on our normal practice nights and left us a couple of storerooms to keep our equipment there.

“They’ve given us that rent free for as long as they own it so it’s been a great changeover but also very heartbreaking to have to part with it but it’s still there.”

Brian is appealling for any locals who may be interested in joining the band to do so, from young ones to adults.

“We’ve had people in their sixties that we’ve taught to play bagpipes and we’re quite happy to welcome anyone at all that is interested in learning.

“My aim is to try and get more young ones, through the history of the band back in the early sixties we had a junior pipe band which was with the Police Citizens Youth Club.

“We had quite a good junior band out there and used that as a training ground to come over into the Cameron. 

“We kept that band as a juvenile band and when they either started work or turned 18 they came over with us.

“It’s heartbreaking to think that we haven’t got a band still marching up and down Argent Street.

“In around the sixties we’d spend most weekends playing at four or five engagements around the town, quite regular marching down Argent Street for some reason or another.

“It’s been quite an asset to the city as well as those that are interested in the Scottish heritage and that type of thing.”

They want to run classes at 5pm on Monday afternoons. 

“I just feel that there are probably a lot of young ones that don’t realise we’re still going and still battling,” Brian said.

“If there are any older members, we’re looking for support if any still have instruments and interested in re-joining, we could use assistance in tutoring pipes and drums.

“Even if you’re only interested in coming and giving us a hand in tutoring it would be most welcome.” 

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