The City of Whyalla Pipe Band delivered a memorable two-hour concert to a sell-out audience celebrating their 50th anniversary at Central Whyalla Clubrooms on Saturday.
Enthusiasts of Scottish music were not disappointed, with social media describing the night as “amazing, impressive, fabulous, brilliant and awesome.”
While former band members and lovers of the bag pipes travelled from Adelaide, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Iron Knob, Cowell, other SA regional centres and interstate, congratulatory messages and good wishes were received from as far as Queensland.
A special surprise not listed on the official program was a drum salute for all past, present and life members from three former band members – Malcolm McLeod, his brother Grant and friend Dougie Renton – their performance receiving tumultuous applause.
It had been 25 years since Malcolm, an on-going and enthusiastic sponsor of the band’s annual concerts, was a drummer, describing the item as “certainly taking a trip down memory lane.”
It was also a special night for two audience members and long-time supporters of the band – Primrose “Primmy” Carruthers and Pat Hay – who were almost speechless when two birthday cakes appeared and the band played “Happy Birthday” while the audience joined in the tune.
Guest performers, the Whyalla Singers, added to the program with a reciprocal appearance after the pipe band performed at the singer’s 25th anniversary concert earlier this year.
In his closing remarks, an overwhelmed John McIntosh, Pipe Major and co-founder, paid tribute to the band members for their efforts as it was rare for all pipers and drummers to be able to rehearse together due to work and personal commitments and with some having to travel from Port Augusta and Port Pirie.
Applause and cheers resounded throughout the night from an exceptionally appreciative audience and the last words coming from Master of Ceremonies Phill Stone with a simple “until we meet again, goodnight Whyalla!”