OT: 19 November 1910 – Charles Bannatyne

The Oban Times, 19 November, 1910

Salsburgh, by Holytown

14 November, 1910

Sir,–With your permission, I shall deal with “Ceol Mor’s” letter of 6th inst. categorically.

(1). “Has there been a meeting of any influential body proposing or authorising any such a meeting as is about to be called?”

This is a free country, and anyone can call such a meeting if inclined to do so. A reference to the advertisement in your present issue will give “Ceol Mor” other details.

(2). “Ceol Mor” says my two letters contradict each other. I cannot agree to this. The Scottish Pipers’ Union rules and regulations will, if accepted by Games Committees, be accepted voluntarily or not at all. He states: “if no Games Committees recognize the Unions judges or rules, their attempt will be fruitless.”

The Union will risk the “if.”

(3). I have not hitherto, in my letters on this subject, mentioned the Scottish Piobaireachd Society, or used any expression that could be construed as pointing to that body. It only controls three or four games in the country, at which it gives prizes, so I do not think the Union and the Society will come into conflict. It has never been the aim of the Society to control piping and dancing generally. I do not see that “Ceol Mor,” “Loch Sloy,” and others are serving any good purpose by dragging in the Scottish Piobaireachd Society unnecessarily, and defending it when not attacked. It is not the intention of the Union to give prizes to be competed for at games, and so its own members will not be competing for the Union’s prizes. Nor will the Union be controlled by members who are in the habit of competing any more than the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association, which is controlled by old athletes.

(4). For “Ceol Mor” to assume that the object of the Scottish Pipers’ Union is to oppose the Piobaireachd Society implies that he knows all about the proposed Union, though I am not aware that his advice has been sought by those who are trying to form it. I do not think the Society needs “Ceol Mor,” “Loch Sloy,” or anyone else to defend it. Its objects are well defined, and it does not pretend to be the hub around which the wheel of piping and dancing revolves. “Ceol Mor” says he is not a narrow-minded man. I am glad he tells me so, because I should have probably formed a different opinion from the tone of his letter.

(5). He states that he does not think such a body as the Union is necessary. Who is he that he should so venture his single opinion in the face of the hundreds of pipers, dancers, and others interested, who think it is needed? If he and “Loch Sloy” do not fear for the Piobaireachd Society, who do they, on the assumption that it is to be attacked, rush into print and attempt to damn the formation of a Union, of whose objects they are so probably ignorant? “Loch Sloy!” “Loch Sloy!” Ichabod!

Not being a narrow-minded man, “Ceol Mor” should eschew reading into the simple English in which I stated the objects of the Pipers’ Union an attack on another body with different aims, and whose members, I hope, will someday be also members of the Scottish Pipers’ Union.–I am, etc.,

Charles Bannatyne, M.B.