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2003 Memorial


From L-R: Guest Speaker Aird MacIsaac, Vice President Marcie Macquarrie, pipers Adam Gillis, James Goldie, Nicholas Peters, Ian Juurlink, Leslie Seplaki, and President Ron MacKay. Also taking part in the ceremonies but missing from the photo were Secretary Jocelyn Gillis and Parish representative, Neil MacIsaac.

The Piobaireachd Society of Antigonish

 presents the

 Fourth Annual Pipers’ Memorial

This year, in memory of  pipers

Ronald MacNeil


Alexander (Alasdair Ban) MacIsaac

 1:30 PM, September 6th, 2003
St. Francis de Sales Parish Cemetery

Giant’s Lake, Guysborough County, NS

Light refreshments and
the Annual General Meeting of The Piobaireachd Society of Antigonish

will follow at the hall. All are welcome to attend.



Neil MacIsaac, on behalf of
St. Francis de Sales Parish, Giant’s Lake

Ron MacKay, President,
The Piobaireachd Society of Antigonish


Recognition of Pipers
Aird MacIsaac and Neil MacIsaac


Performers and their tunes

Introduced by Marcie Macquarrie, Vice President
The Piobaireachd Society of Antigonish

Nicholas Peters, Clydesdale
“Queen Elizabeth The Second’s Salute”

James Goldie, Greenwold
“Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochiel’s Salute”

Adam Gillis, Antigonish
The Company’s Lament

Leslie Seplaki,  Maryland, USA
“Munro’s Salute”

Ian Juurlink, St. Andrews
“Lady Anapool’s Lament”


Copy of The Kilberry Book of Ceòl Mór
Presented to Adam Gillis
by Ron MacKay, President

Copies of The Art of Piobaireachd
Presented to Leslie Seplaki, Nicholas Peters and James Goldie
by Marcie Macquarrie, Vice President

Copy of Pipe Bands of Nova Scotia
Presented to  Ian Juurlink

By Jocelyn Gillis, Secretary

Closing Remarks

 Reception and Annual General Meeting to follow at the hall.
All are welcome


Stories about the tunes being played today:

 Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel’s Salute

             Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel (1629 to 1718) was one of the most remarkable Highlanders of his time. He was a staunch supporter of the Stuart kings, and a formidable warrior, who received the appellation of dubh, from his dark complexion. He was one of the most remarkable persons who figured on the troubled stage of Highland history during the great civil war, and was the last man in Scotland who made his submission to King William, having been determined to hold out until permission was received from King James, then in exile on the continent.

            The chief of an intrepid clan, and himself a powerful and hardy veteran, he was engaged in many exploits which evinced great valor and military prowess. The Governor of Inverlochy, now Fort William, detached a party of three hundred men to lay waste Lochiel’s possessions, and cut down his trees; but, in a sudden and desperate attack made upon them by the chieftain, with very inferior numbers, they were almost all cut to pieces. The skirmish is detailed in a curious memoir of Sir Ewen’s life, printed in appendix of Pennant’s Scottish Tour. “In this engagement, Lochiel himself had several wonderful escapes. In the retreat of the English, one of the strongest and bravest of the officers retired behind a bush; when he saw Lochiel pursuing, and unaccompanied with any one, he leaped out, and thought him his prey. They met one another with equal fury. The combat was long and doubtful: the English gentleman had by far the advantage in strength and size, but Lochiel exceeded him in nimbleness and agility, and in the end tript the sword out of his hand; they closed and wrestled till both fell to the ground in each other’s arms. The English officer got above Lochiel and pressed him hard; but stretching forth his neck, by attempting to disengage himself, Lochiel, who by this time had his hands at liberty, with his left hand seized him by the collar, and jumping at his extended throat, he bit it with his teeth quite through, and kept such a hold of his grasp, that he brought away his mouthful; ‘This’ he said, ‘was the sweetest bite he ever had in his lifetime.’ According to Angus MacKay, this tune was composed on that event.

            Many years later, Lochiel was in London and went into a barber’s shop to get his hair and beard trimmed. When the razor was passing over his throat, the chatty barber observed, “You are from the North, Sir?” “Yes,” said Lochiel, “I am. Do you know any people from the North?” “No sir,” replied the barber, “nor do I wish to; they are savages there. Would you believe it, sir, one of them tore the throat out of my father with his teeth, and I only wish I had the fellow’s throat as near to me as I have yours right just now.” Lochiel said nothing, but he never entered a barber’s shop again. 

The Munro’s Salute 

            This tune is the product of John Dall MacKay, Piper to MacKenzie of Gairloch who, being a favourite of the Munroes, was a frequent guest at Fearndonel, the seat of the chief, where he was treated with particular kindness, and composed this salute in compliment to his hospitable friends. 

The Company’s Lament 

                Little is known about the origins of this tune which is said to have been composed to mark the untimely death of a young piper serving in India at the time of his death.

 Queen Elizabeth The Second’s Salute 

            This tune was composed by Donald MacLeod to mark Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1976. MacLeod was born in Stornaway where he began piping at an early age. He served in the Seaforth Highlanders for twenty-five years, twenty-one of them as Pipe Major. He was a most successful competitor and is a fine composer of all forms of bagpipe music, including piobaireachd. In 1978, Donald MacLeod was awarded the M. B. E. for his services to piping.

 Lady Anapool’s Lament 

                Nothing seems to be known about the identity of a Lady Anapool, nor for that matter, a Laird of Anapool, who is the subject of another composition believed to be the creation of Iain Dall MacKay. There is no suggestion that there is any relationship between the Lord and Lady, that they existed at the same time in history, nor that the same person composed their laments. This paticular lament appears in the Campbell Canntaireachd MS under the title “MacAlister’s Lively Lament”. 


The Piobaireachd Society of Antigonish 

            The Piobaireachd Society of Antigonish was formed in November 1996 to promote the learning and performance of Piobaireachd, the ancient music of the Highland Scots who settled in Eastern Nova Scotia in the 19th century. The Society meets approximately eight times a year and members and guests enjoy performances by pipers from Antigonish Town and County who are studying Piobaireachd.

            Since 1997, the Society has hosted a series of Piobaireachd workshops open to all who wish to learn to play the great music, with participants coming from across the Maritime Provinces. These workshops have been conducted by some of the best instructors in North America and, indeed, the world! Among them have been Bob Worrall, Burlington, ON, Ed Neigh of Wellesley, ON, Gold Medalist and Clasp winner Jim McGillivray, Aurora, ON, Gold Medalist Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, NS, Gold Medalist Alasdair Gillies of Pittsburgh, PA, Double Gold Medalist Andrew Wright of Dunblane, Scotland, President of The Piobaireachd Society (Scotland), and yet another Double Gold Medalist, John Cairns of London, ON. Tunes taught include those selected by the Piobaireachd Society (Scotland) for the Silver and Gold Medal competitions held annually at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban and The Northern Meeting in Inverness. These tunes have been set for performance at the annual ACPBA Piobaireachd Challenge competitions held each May in Antigonish, Nova Scotia since 1990.

            In June 2000 the Society hosted the First Annual Pipers’ Memorial at the South River Cemetery to honour the memories of two former Official Pipers of the Antigonish Highland Society. Each of the eight participating pipers was presented with a hardbound copy of “The Killberry Book of Ceòl Mór”. In June 2001 the Second Annual Pipers’ Memorial was held at St. Margaret’s Parish Cemetery, Arisaig, where nine pioneer pipers were remembered. On that occasion, one more student piper was presented with a Killberry book and five other participating musicians were presented with copies of  “The Book of the Bagpipe” by Hugh Cheape of the National Museum of Scotland. The Third Annual Pipers Memorial took place in Maryvale, with presentations of “The Art Of Piobaireachd” by Iain L. McKay of New Zealand. The Fourth Annual Pipers’ Memorial is taking place today, September 6th, here in Giant’s Lake, Guysborough County.

            In October 2000, the Society awarded its first travel bursary to a local Antigonish piper who represented Atlantic Canada at the prestigious George Sheriff Memorial Amateur Solo Piping Competition in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2001 and 2002, the Society gave bursaries for the study of Piobaireachd at St. Ann’s Gaelic College and for travel to Piobaireachd competitions in Scotland.

            The Society welcomes new members and the general public is always invited to attend student recitals and Society meetings. Notices of meetings, workshops, and recitals appear in the local media.




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