Call of the pipes

23:03, Dec 05 2012
 City of Wellington pipeband
SCOTTISH PRIDE: The City of Wellington pipeband competes at the Jenny Mair Highland Square Day last year.

Scottish bands from New Zealand and Australia will compete at the Jenny Mair Highland Square Day in Palmerston North on Saturday.

The event, run by the Manawatu Scottish Society, is in its 33rd year and features bands, bagpipes, highland dancers, and a variety of Scottish foods, including haggis.

"It is a competition as well as a celebration of Scottish culture, with the music of Scotland highlighted," said organiser Jenny Mair, who has been running the event for 30 years.

The Cameron clan will celebrate 25 years of taking part in the event, and has donated a cup to be awarded to the top novice drummer on the day.

Among the clan are members Colin and Joy Cameron, who began selling potatoes at the Square Day in 1987 after a trip to Scotland.

"They worked so well in Scotland but we didn't have portable stoves back then to cook them in The Square, so we decided sausages were a better solution," Mrs Cameron said.


Since then they have been cooking sausages and making haggis sandwiches, which have been popular in previous years.

The Square Day was started in 1980 by Dennis Pierce and Briar Hamilton, members of the Manawatu Scottish Society Pipe Band. The event has grown from two bands to 19 this year.

The day starts in The Square at 8.30am, with the young pipers competition.

The Manawatu Scottish No 1 band will be competing in preparation for the World Piping Champs next year.

At 4pm there will be a haggis ceremony involving an address to the haggis by Neil Doherty, past chief of the Scottish Society.

A street march around The Square will start at 6pm, and all competing bands will sing, pipe, and drum to Scottish music, followed by a prizegiving.

A ceilidh, or traditional Celtic gathering, will be held at the Celtic Inn in the evening.

Manawatu Standard