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A Brief History of St Andrew’s Pipe Band


One of the earliest photographs of the band, taken soon after formation in 1945St Andrew’s Pipe Band was formed after the Second World War by Group Captain Dr A.G. Grant, OBE, M.B., B.S., PhC., the Commanding officer of R.A.A.F. Command South West Pacific Area. The majority of members were Ex-Servicemen from the 61st Battalion (Queensland Cameron Highlander’s) and members of the Royal Australian Air Force. The 61st Battalion was a Citizens Military Forces unit, which had distinguished service in New Guinea and saw an active role in the turning back of the Japanese invasion force at Milne Bay. The unit had Strong Scottish connections and can still be seen parading each Anzac Day in their original uniforms and being led by St Andrew’s Pipe Band.

 

Field Marshal Montgomery autographs the band's bass drum at Kelvin Grove Parade Ground, July 1947
At its inception the Band was aided by a donation of six sets of bagpipes from the members of the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Ann Street. As a show of gratitude, the band was named St Andrew’s Pipe Band Brisbane. As an honour to the band’s founder Group Captain A Gordon Grant, later to become the Life Chief of the band, the Grant tartan was chosen for our kilts.

The band marching past Central Station on ANZAC Day, 1959Within a few years the new band had won the Australian Championships, and has continued to excel in competition and performance ever since. The band has held the title of Queensland Champion Band many times as well as the Queensland and Northern New South Wales Champion Drum Corps titles. The band has also had success overseas winning the Grade 2 New Zealand National Championships in 1996 and is considered one of Queensland’s and Australia’s most prominent and long-standing pipe bands.

The Band has always fostered the tuition and advancement of youth members. Senior members of the band have always offered tuition voluntarily to any interested potential member. For many years the Band was able to maintain two bands - a Grade 1 or 2 Band and a Grade 4 band as a "feeder" for the Grade 1 Band. However, presently St Andrew’s Pipe band has only one Grade 2 Band.

The band was winner of the Grade 2 New Zealand National Championships in 1996

St Andrew on the magnificent wrought iron gates of the Palace of Holyrood, EdinburghThe Band has always participated in community activities, eg. ANZAC Day, Warana, the R.N.A.’s "Ekka" and Christmas parades as well as at school fetes, nursing homes and other such events. It has performed at many paying engagements such as football matches and golf classics. Also, for many years the band played regularly in the Queen Street Mall for the Brisbane City Heart Association. The band has also run many contests over the years which, as well as attracting many bands (including many from interstate and overseas) has created many spectacular events for the community in general.

The band always strives to maintain a high level of professionalism in anything it does and can often be seen performing and competing in and around Brisbane as well as throughout Australia and overseas.