Thanks to Jack Abbott, the very first Secretary of The Eagle Pipers’ Society back in 1960, who has kindly agreed to share a few stories from the early days.
“On 2nd March, 1965, whilst attending the Eagle Pipers at a pub in the Lawnmarket, I was asked by Uncle George how my wife was keeping, he knew she was expecting shortly, and I told him she had been admitted that day to Simpson Maternity Hospital. He left the room shortly afterwards…and on his return he informed everyone that rounds of drams were on me that night as my wife had just delivered our baby son. I was astounded that he should get this information before me and I asked him how he had obtained it. He said it was very simple, he had just phoned the hospital and said he was my wife’s Uncle George from Skye and wanted to know how she was keeping!
Further to this, a couple of months later, Uncle George, offered his services as godfather to my son and duly appeared at the church, near the old Longmore Hospital adjacent to Ratcliffe Terrace. During the ceremony Uncle George left the church and I was concerned at the time he had been taken ill, however, he reappeared some twenty minutes later and as he walked down the aisle the congregation were singing a hymn “when he cometh”. This left my wife and I in hysterical laughter. When I questioned him later as to where he had gone he stated “I fancied a dram and knew that a certain piper, a well known surgeon resided nearby and paid him a visit to have a dram!”
My son was christened Ronald after two Ronald’s, one was Ronald Lawrie formerly of the City Of Glasgow Police Pipe Band, and the other was Ronald Ackroyd, formerly of Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band. At the time of the christening Ronald Lawrie, a gentleman at any time, assisted me in the purchase of a house in Glasgow, which just happened to be next door to his home. I was on the point of transferring to take over the band in Glasgow, although I didn’t take up the appointment due to health.”