|The above photograph (from the Dunvegan Tweedsmuir) was taken at Barriefield Camp in 1928. Standing at the front left in front is Pipe Major John Alex Stewart, Dunvegan|
The SD&G Highlanders Pipe Band was officially established in 1905 with five pipers and three drummers under Pipe Major Sutherland. Prior to 1905, local pipers were still gathering. Many men from the Dunvegan area belonged to the SD&G Highland Regiment and every year, these men attended a summer camp at Barrifield, north of Kingston, where they received military training. Men who played the bagpipes were always in great demand.
In 1906, Angus MacMillan Fraser was Pipe Major. In 1907, it was held by William Grey and in 1908, by J.A Stewart, who held the position until he resigned in 1936. At that time there were eight pipers and five drummers. In a few years, the band grew to twelve pipers and six drummers. In 1914, it was considered the best of four Pipe Bands attending Petawawa Camp.
In the beginning, the pipers wore green plaid trousers and red coats with white braid outlining black cuffs, stand-up collars and shoulder straps. When the band was organized in 1905, kilts of MacLennan tartan were worn with green coats, trimmed with gold braid for the Pipe Major and white braid for the pipers. Glengarry bonnets and white spats completed the outfit. Later, they wore the MacDonald tartan and then the McDonell tartan.
At one time, most of the pipers came from Dunvegan and Alexandria. The Band took part in many kinds of entertainment. They were at Morrisbourg for the hundredth Anniversary of the battle of Crysler Farm. They played twice at St. Andrew’s Concerts in Montreal. They spent a week on three different occasions at Old Boys’Reunions in Cornwall. They formed a guard of honor with their Regiment at the railway station in Cornwall, when the Duke of Connaught visited and also formed part of the guard of honor in Kingston, when the King and Queen visited in 1939. Pipe Major J.A Stewart and Piper J.A MacNaughton played at the three hundredth anniversary of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. Pipers Angus MacDonald, Angus Cameron, J.A MacNaughton, and Pipe Major J.A Stewart each had a trip to Banff, Alberta to compete in the yearly Caledonian Games.
In 1944, the first Battalion of the SDG Highlanders were overseas with Pipe Major MacGillivray. The second Battalion was in Cornwall with G. Montgomery as Pipe Major. At this time, Pipe Major S. MacKinnon held lessons for 40 pupils.
Today, the SD&G Highlanders continues to impress crowds throughout their travels. Be sure to look for them this weekend at the Glengarry Highland Games.
|SDG Highlanders Pipe Band, 1928. Pipers left to right: John Alex Stewart (P.M), Murdock MacRae, Jimmie John R. MacNaughton, Willie Munro, Donald John Stewart, Donald Angus Fletcher, Red Alex Stewart|
The two photographs above are from the Pioneer Museum's collection.
(click photos to enlarge)
(click photos to enlarge)