Tonight we paid tribute and farewell to EPS Honorary Member, Jimmie MacGregor, a man who touched the lives of so many pipers over the years.
After the Hon P/M opened proceedings with a couple of gaelic airs followed by the great 2/4 march The Young MacGregor, Donald Macleod provided a polished selection including Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band, A Luaidh and Old Wife of the Mill Dust.
CPA President, Robert Gray, followed with some wonderful words about the stories he heard from Jimmie including one about a competing piper who practicing in a bee keeping suit to keep the midges at bay. His selection included the ground of the Lament for the Only Son in tribute to Jimmie.
Colin Campbell then played us some classic 9/8s and 6/8s on his mellow 1890s Glens in readiness for the SPSL contest in London. His MSR included Leaving Glenurquhart a tune which P/M Jimmy MacGregor, Jimmie’s father, took many a prize with.
Lothian & Borders Police piper and ex-Scots Guardsman, John Fraser borrowed the Hon P/M’s bagpipe to provide a selection of classic tunes such as the Battle of Waterloo and the Garb of Old Gaul – the Regimental slow march of the Scots Guards.
Our special guest and Post Pie Piper for the evening was Canada’s Bob Worrall. Bob was judging the light music at the Glenfiddich the previous weekend where Jimmie MacGregor was posthumously awarded the Balvenie Medal – a hugely deserved honour.
Bob gave one of the most musical displays heard at Eagles for a very long time. His chanter was complemented by a set of drones that just simply would not shift despite Bob’s engaging breaks to introduce each set. His selection included Willie Ross’s Flight of the Eaglets (a tune with both Scots Guards and EPS connections) and two of Bob’s own compositions, Salute to Cap Caval and the Last Train to Malaga. The latter set can be found on the latest album by Bob’s band, Scantily Plaid- www.scantilyplaid.com
He finished with the ground of Donald MacLeod’s piobaireachd Cabar Feidh Gu Brath followed by Donald MacLennan’s Tuning Phrase.
At this point it would be remiss not to mention the success of the Hon Treasurer in winning the Piobaireachd at the Glenfiddich with a commanding performance of Scarce of Fishing – all 17.5 minutes of it. A terrific tune on a wondeful pipe.
Bringing this reflective evening to a close was Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student, Chris Ross, with a well rehearsed selection including the MSR Mrs John MacColl, Tulloch Castle and Pretty Marion and finishing with Allan MacDonald’s Dr Flora MacAulay of Carradale.
And to quote the PM ‘that was the evening’s evening’. However as some donned jackets to head home in the dark winters night others stayed out and regaled countless tales of piping anecdotes about Jimmie and the good times. In travels hats were doffed at the West End Hotel where for once the Inn was closed. Changed days indeed.
A truly wonderful evening. If only the man himself had been there. He would have had such fun.