In July 1959, the idea to form a local Pipe Band was first mooted by some members of the then Tawa Caledonian Society and following the inaugural meeting in October 1958, chaired by Colin Campbell, a committee was formed and the band established. Two side drums were donated by the Society.
The first public parade was at the Caledonian Society’s Highland Games on Labour Day 1959 with band members wearing grey trousers, white shirts and Campbell tartan ties.
By 1961 the band had amassed sufficient funds to buy its first complete set of uniforms and members wore them to their first uniformed parade at the opening of Tawa College in July 1961, by the then Governor-General, Viscount Cobham.
Initial practices were held in the wrestling hall in Findlay Street. In the centre was a HUGE wrestling mat, which we were not allowed to look at, let alone tread on. And we won’t mention the neighbours who didn’t always appreciate the sound.
The Tawa Borough Council came to the rescue circa late 1970’s with the offer of an old factory in Redwood, with the band paying a peppercorn rental with the right to renew. And so we “acquired” our new hall and have been upgrading it ever since.
Nowadays we find ourselves competing all over the country in Grade 2 having acheived great success locally and nationally.
We also participate in many local activities and events such as Christmas and ANZAC parades, Gaelic Club ceilidhs and other charity events.
The band is ably led by Pipe Major Davey Welsh, who has played at the highest level with the Shotts & Dykehead and Simon Fraser University winning the World Championships multiple times, and Drum Sergeant Trina Berry who has many years of Grade 1 experience behind her.
We have members from many walks of life but with a common passion for playing pipe band music and enjoy the environment the band created which fosters friendship, learning and teamwork. We enjoy contributing to the cultural and social fabric of our society and you are welcome to come and spend an evening with us at one of our practices and see if it is something you would like to be part of.