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November 2008
Marching Sole Brogues

A note for our US customers: Now is a great time to get your Christmas gifts! Take advantage almost 20% off! A strong US dollar is your ticket to savings.

We would like to Congratulate the Winner of our User Review Contest, Shawn Husk!! Our first runner up was Danielle Degoski. Thanks to everyone who reviewed our products and please keep them coming!!

This months User Review Contest winner will Receive a Free Pair of Ghillie Brogues. These brogues are available in narrow and wide widths in sizes 1 - 24! The contest ends November 14th, so start reviewing!!

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Featured Band
48th Pipes & Drums

48th Highlanders

From the Beginning of the 48th Highlanders there have been pipers present. Pipers Charles Munro and George Murray were the first two company pipers. They played while Captain Henderson drilled the men at Bailey's Hall.

An efficient pipe band is the pride of every commanding officer of a highland regiment. It was for this reason Pipe Major Robert Ireland, reputed to be the best piper on the continent, was recruited to serve as the first Pipe Major of the 48th Highlanders in 1891. During his tenure, the band was fully organized with a total strength of 19; 14 pipers and 5 drummers.

Pipe Major Ireland's leadership helped the pipe band to become famous in only a few years. Robert Ireland started playing pipes with the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, later moving to New York City until taking over as Pipe Major of the 48th Highlanders in Toronto. He won many solo piping contests held in North America at that time.

Subsequent to Pipe Major Ireland, the band has had a succession of highly qualified pipe majors. Mr. Norman MacSwayed replaced Pipe Major Ireland in 1895. Pipe Major MacSwayed was an accomplished Piobaireached player in Scotland. In 1900, Mr. Farquhar Beaton became Pipe Major. Pipe Major Beaton was a successful instructor and introduced the playing of parts in pipe bands in Canada. Upon hearing the Green Hills of Tyrol played in this manner, the Earl of Aberdeen, Governor General of Canada recommended that this type of playing be cultivated and to this day is still an integral part of the band's performances.

In 1913, James Fraser was recruited from the Gordon Highlanders to take over as Pipe Major after serving 21 years as a piper with the Gordon Highlanders seeing action in India. Pipe Major Fraser would remain as Pipe Major for 39 years teaching many students and supplying Canada with a wealth of well tutored players. In 1952, Archie Dewar,CD took over as Pipe Major followed by Ross Stewart, MMM, CD in 1965, CWO Reay MacKay, CD in 1975, and CWO Alexander (Sandy) Dewar, MMM, CD in 1985 to 2007. MWO Iain Lang was appointed Pipe Major in Feb 2007.

The Pipes and Drums have always worked hard to continue the quality of performance under every Pipe Major. Pipe Major Archie Dewar lead the band to numerous awards in competition followed by Reay Mackay and Archie Dewar's son Alexander "Sandy" Dewar.

Under the direction of Sandy Dewar, the Band won the North American Championship for Grade Two Bands in 1988 and 1993 as well as the Ontario Championship Supreme in 1994. In 1995, they were moved up to Grade One Competition.

Over the years the band has travelled extensively around the world. In the past they have performed at the 1934 Chicago World's Fair, The Edinburgh Tattoo and the Wembley Military Tattoo. They performed throughout Holland to mark various anniversaries for VE Day, most recently in 2000. The band is called upon to play at many shows and festivals throughout the United States and Canada. Performances include the Nova Scotia Tattoo in 1987 and television shows such as the Ed Sulivan Show, and the Miss Canada Pageant. Several documentaries, such as For King and Empire, have used the bands recordings. The band has travelled to Estes Park, Colorado; Pleasanton California; the Citadel, Charleston SC; Fort Hood, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Glasgow, Kentucky, Fort Ticonderoga, Quebec City, Italy, and Poland.

The band also performs at many Toronto area functions and supplies soloists for weddings, head tables, dinners, and funerals. The 48th has played at the Toronto Maple Leafs opening Hockey game since 1931 and became a fixture at Maple Leaf Gardens on Opening Night. In 1999, the Band lead the parade from Maple Leaf Gardens to the new home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, The Air Canada Centre, where they continue to play for the opening hockey game each season.

As well as competition and tattoos, band members who are also members of the Canadian Forces (CF) are required to satisfy musical trade tests administered by the CF School Music Center (CFMusC) as well as courses in basic combat knowledge and leadership throughout their military career. The Pipes and Drums play an important role in the CF supplying music for parades, remembrance services, mess dinners, and special functions. Members of the band have also participated in assignments such as the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa and instructors at the CFMusC, CFB Borden.

The Pipes and Drums currently have a nominal role that includes both military and volunteer civilian members. The band has excelled in both civilian and military duties, becoming world famous for their unique abilities.

-submitted by Pipe Major Iain Lang

48th Highlanders Website
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Featured Article
Piper Richardson Statue

Motivating the Troops

Pipers were present in clan battles nearly 3000 years ago and continue to be present in war today. There were pipers in both World Wars, the Gulf War, Desert Storm, the Boer War and more.

The pipes were used as an incentive to battle, motivation for the troops, and intimidation of the enemy. They celebrated victories and mourned the fallen. Drums were used as a motivation,and for communication. They signaled orders, tactical maneuvers, and firing of weapons.

Pipers were not only soldiers, but morale boosters. Thousands of pipers died while playing their men into battle, as they could not carry a weapon and their pipes at the same time. This was a great act of bravery. Below is one such example of this bravery.

James Richardson, or Jimmy as he was known, was born in Scotland and moved to Chilliwack, BC with his family at a young age. He had won 3 gold medals in piping competitions in BC. He was noted for his bravery at a young age when he tried to save a drowning boy.

Enlisting in the army in 1914, Jimmy was assigned to the 16th Infantry Battalion Expeditionary Force. He served in Belgium and France as a soldier, piper, and cook.

On one occasion, Jimmy advanced alone beyond Canadian lines into a thick dark forest. He stumbled upon a farmhouse and realized that he was surrounded by German soldiers. Although he tried to hide in the grass, a German officer signaled the others in his direction. Bravely, Jimmy quickly shot the officer and ran as fast as he could back to his own camp. He informed the others and the artillery quickly took care of them.

The Battle of Somme in 1916 was one of the bloodiest battles in WWI. Jimmy was at the Regina Trench. On October 9th, he was granted permission to go in with a planned assault. In the early morning, the Canadians, including Jimmy, left the safety of the trenches and advanced upon the Germans. They came upon heavy barbed wire stretching 400 yards. It hadn't been cut by artillery as they had planned. Heavy gunfire came from the German lines and the Canadians scattered for cover. The outlook was grim. Jimmy asked the Sergeant Major if he should play his pipes and was confirmed.

According to the official citation, Piper Richardson piped up and down outside the wire, playing his pipes with "the greatest coolness". Inspired, the Canadian soldiers rushed the wire with fury, overcame the obstacle, and captured the position. Later, Jimmy was sent to take a wounded soldier and prisoners back to camp. After about 200 yards, Jimmy realized that he'd left his pipes behind and insisted on recovering them. He never returned. Jimmy was buried at Adanac Military Cemetery, France. He was 20 years old. Jimmy was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest honor. He is the only Canadian piper to receive this award.

In 2000, a project at a private school in Scotland sent out an email to identify the tartan on a set of old, mud and blood covered pipes with a bullet hole that had been kept in the school for over 75 years. The pipes had been found after the Battle of the Somme and were kept as a souvenir. It was discovered that the tartan belonged to the 16th Canadian Expeditionary Force. A collective effort of research led to conclusive evidence that these were the pipes that Piper Richardson had gone back for and never returned. The pipes were returned to British Columbia in 2006 and are on permanent display in the British Columbia Legislature.

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Featured Band
49th Battallion Pipe Band

49th Battallion Pipes & Drums

The 49th Battalion Pipes & Drums has been busy and successful over the past year or so. Playing engagements included several mess dinners, Royal Canadian Legion functions, whisky tastings, the Regimental Association dinner, churches, private functions, and competitions. The three highlights of the past year were a playing trip to Scotland in May 2007, winning prize at a band competition in August 2007, and the honour of playing Bonnie Dundee to march out the Regimental Colours at the Centennial Anniversary Dinner this past April.

Thanks to a generous invitation from Honourary Colonel Sandy Mactaggart, the pipe band was able to experience true Scottish hospitality.

We realized every Canadian pipe band's dream by spending six days on Scotland's Isle of Islay in late May 2007, performing at various events in Feis Ile, the island's annual Festival of Malt & Music. Islay is a beautiful place steeped in history and lore. The people we met were warm and welcoming and it was an amazing experience to be a part of this island's annual whisky festivities.

In August the pipe band competed at the Fort Edmonton Highland Games. The weather was hot, the beer was cold, and much to our surprise the 49th Battalion Pipes & Drums won second place in the Grade V competition, along with a cash prize. Thank you to all the members who came out and withstood the heat in those wool-blend tunics and heavy kilts. Purchase of a limited number of full dress uniforms began in the late fall of 2007and continued through this past winter of 2008. By April, the band had acquired enough full dress uniforms to completely outfit eight pipers and drummers in black doublets and full plaids!

The new uniforms made their debut at the Regiment's Centennial Anniversary Dinner on 5 April and were well received by the Eddies in attendance. The pipe band played the Regimental set of pipe music then led out the Colours to the tune of our regimental march Bonnie Dundee. It was an awesome sight to behold!

The pipe band is currently working toward raising money for eight more full dress uniforms and will be busy over the next year playing at as many functions as possible to fulfill that end.

Attired for the first time in their new Full Dress uniforms, the band played for the Centennial Anniversary Dinner on 5 April 2008.

The members of the 49th Battalion Pipes & Drums would like to thank everyone within the regimental family for their continued support.

It remains also to thank our former Pipe Major, Sergeant Lance MacFadzen, for his efforts in getting the band up and running, and leading us for five years.

-submitted by PM Mark Denney

There are some simple things that everyone can do to support the troops:
Wear a Poppy;
Wear Red on Fridays;
Wear a yellow Ribbon;
There are Tim Horton's on many large military bases. They can accept paper gift certificates.

For more donation information, go to the Canadian Forces Personnel & Family Supprt Services Website.

If you would like to see your pipe band featured in one of our newsletters, send us an email with a band photo and a short write up about the band. Feel free to offer some tips or advice that has proven useful to your band. Include any links or videos that you would like us to post.


Rauncie Kinnaird
Kinnaird Bagpipes
Phone: 306-249-2939