We travelled many miles for our homeland we have lost, to make a new beginning beneath the Southern Cross. Scottish balladeer, Steve McDonald
Scottish heritage alive and well
Story by Roger Childs, photos by Pam Childs
Twelve pipe bands playing in Raumati were a reminder of New Zealand’s proud Scottish heritage.
Saturday 17 February saw the annual Wellington, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay Provincial Championships featuring at Weka Park.
Under the efficient co-ordination of former piper, Sandra Harry, the bands competed in four grades and a juvenile division.
The senior grades were judged on three items: Street March, Set Piece and Medley.
There were plenty of trophies for the winners and the bands were judged on dress, drill, deportment, music, pipes, drums and ensemble.
Each band played in front of the judges and the crowd around the Weka Park pavilion.
This year saw the first appearance at the championships of a band from Lindisfarne College in Hastings.
Big competitions coming up
The National event is over the weekend of Mach 9 and 10 in Rotorua.
Saturday’s competition featured the top two bands in New Zealand: Manawatu, who are ranked 9th in the World, and the New Zealand Police Band.
The World Championships are at the same venue every year: Glasgow Green.
Manawatu will definitely be there in August and other New Zealand bands may qualify.
A great success
The Weka Park display went off very well and finished with the Massed Bands featuring.
Their last performance was the evocative Amazing Grace which always sounds as if it was composed for pipe bands.
Some readers will be familiar with version sung by Il Divo at the Colosseum in Rome, which features a rousing verse played by bagpipes.
Finally there was a haunting lament played by a single piper to remember of bands people who had passed on over the last 12 months.
Then it was time to hand out the glittering prizes.