Kimberley’s Pipe Band celebrates 90 years

On Saturday, July 15, the Kimberley Pipe Band celebrated their 90th Anniversary with a parade and Tattoo.

A Tattoo is a musical demonstration of military drumming, piping and skills. According to the Kimberley Pipe Band, “it’s called a ‘tattoo’ because when the British Army was fighting in Belgium 300 years ago, soldiers were called in from the pubs each night for curfew, or Doe den tap toe, Dutch for ‘turn off the tap’.”

Bagpipes and drums could be heard all across town this weekend with pipers young and old marching through the streets in their traditional attire.

Celebrations happened throughout the weekend with the Musical Taste of the Tattoo on Friday, a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday followed by the parade, ending with the main show at the Civic Centre on Saturday evening. Despite the heat, the stands at the Civic Centre were packed – it was a full house.

Bands from all over came out to take part in the Tattoo including Kimberley, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Trail, Cowichan, Nelson, Kalamalka, Shuswap, and Lethbridge.

Many dance groups and other (non-piping) bands participated in the evening’s entertainment including Leila Cooper & Hali Duncan Schools of Highland Dance, the Shalni Prowse Highland Dancers from Kamloops, the British Columbia Regiment Band from Vancouver, the Kimberley Community Band, 552 Key City Cadets, Kimberley Community Choir, RCMP Colour Guard, the Kootenay Dance Academy and the Johnny McCuaig Band.

According to the Kimberley Pipe Band, “the history of the Kimberley Pipe Band began in 1927 with the arrival of two brothers to a small mining town in the East Kootenay. Angus Scott came to Kimberley in 1926 to work for the Consolidated Mining and Smelting company, now known as Tech Cominco. In the following year, Angus and his brother Hamish, along with a small group of enthusiastic pipers and drummers, established the Kimberley Pipe Band.”

In 1977, the first Tattoo was held to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Kimberley Pipe Band. The Tattoo was a huge success and was to become the first of a series, each subsequent Tattoo held at 10 year intervals; 60th, 70th an 80th and now 90th anniversaries of the band’s formation.