OT: 5 May 1923 – Virtue “Pipes in St. Paul’s Cathedral”

The Oban Times, Saturday, 5 May, 1923

Pipes in St. Paul’s Cathedral

London, 25th April, 1923 Sir,– While watching the solemn ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the anniversary of St. Michael and St. George, and particularly that part of it where to the weird strains of the bagpipes–heard for the first time in this great lane of London–the banners of the deceased Knights were moved to and from the Chapels of S. Dunstan and Ss. Michael and George (“Lord Lovat’s Lament” and “The Flowers of the Forest” being the tunes played by the King’s Own Scottish Borderers’ pipers) my mind reverted to the various Christian dogmas held touching our dead. Protestantism has only two alternatives, Heaven and Hell, while Catholicism holds the belief that “the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God.” The Roman Catholic Church goes farther than the Anglican, for it holds the doctrine of “purgatorial fire.” Both Anglican and Roman agree in an “intermediate state,” before final Heaven or Gehenna is fixed at the great Judgment Day. Who knows? “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”–I am, etc., Virtue

OT: 17 February 1923 – [Unsigned] “Pipe Band Championship of New Zealand|An Oban Pipe-Major”

The Oban Times, 17 February, 1923

Pipe Band Championship of New Zealand

An Oban Pipe-Major

The outstanding event at the Annual Gathering held recently in New Zealand was the competition for the Pipe Band Championship of New Zealand. Five bands took part, and it is a point of interest that the music judges in this competition are not allowed to see the competing bands, the awards of points for music being judged in a covered tent adjoining the track. Five additional judges make the awards for “military beating.” The result of the championship was as follows:–

Wellington Caledonian, 211 points.

Dunedin Scottish, 202 points.

Southland Band, 199 points.

Wellington Scottish, 181 points.

Christchurch Highland, 152 points.

The Pipe-Major of the winning band, it is interesting to observe, is Pipe-Major Tom MacDonald, a native of Oban, who began his piping career in the Oban Boys’ Brigade. Mr. MacDonald went some years ago to New Zealand, where he early took a leading place as an exponent of the music of the Gael. He is also a composer of note, and has some outstanding pieces to his credit. He was instrumental in raising the Wellington Caledonian Band, which under his brilliant leadership has carried the premier honours in the piping world in the country of his adoption. Pipe-Major MacDonald is a brother of Mr. Allan MacDonald, 121 George Street, Oban, while a sister of the gallant Pipe-Major is Mrs. Robert Watt, Mossfield Drive, Oban.

OT: 10 February 1923- [unsigned] “Edinburgh Piping Competition”

The Oban Times, 10 February 1923

Edinburgh Piping Competitions

In the “Oban Times” of December 22 there appeared a brief report of a piping competition held in Edinburgh by the Piobaireachd Society. The competition was of unusual interest since it is the first piobaireachd competition organized for amateurs by the Piobaireachd Society. It is to be hoped that the competition may now be an annual one, for it is an indisputable fact that genuine amateur piping competitions are too few and far between.

It is understood that the competition was held largely owing to the efforts of Mr. Somerled MacDonald and Mr. Seton Gordon. Each player was requested to hand in a list of three piobaireachdan to the judges (Pipe-Major Wm. Ross, Pipe-Major Geo. McLennan, and Pipe- Major John MacDonald, Inverness), and some of the playing was quite good, though each player had a certain amount of trouble with his pipes, due perhaps to the dry atmosphere of the hall.

It is probable that under more favourable conditions the playing could be considerably improved on a future occasion. One of the best of the competitors, Mr. Somerled MacDonald, had an unfortunate breakdown just when he was apparently well set for his tune, “The Groat.” Amongst the tunes played were “The Lament for Mary MacLeod,” “Glengarry’s Lament,” “The Lament for the Castle of Duneveg,” and “The Groat.”

That the competition was a popular one amongst pipers was shown by the well-known players who were present. Amongst them were Lieut. I. McLennan of the Edinburgh Police (father of Pipe-Major George McLennan, Pipe-Major Reid (the most successful piobaireachd player last season at Oban and Inverness), Pipe-Major Duff, Capt. C.M. Usher (Gordon Highlanders), and many others.

After the close of the competition the judges were good enough to play a selection of their favourite airs, to the great enjoyment of the onlookers and amateur competitors alike.

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