|Sylvia & Vince|
Barbara took this photo, and while she was primarily getting a nice shot of Sylvia and Vincent Aitken in the front, it also captured quite a bit in the background. I likely first met Sylvia and Vince in the late 1970s, when I was the P-M of the Fraser Pipe Band in Regina. Their son Jamie was a snare drummer in the band, and daughter Ramona later learned the pipes. Vince and Sylvia were always cheerful, practical, hard-working band parents, and over the years took on many roles with the Fraser Pipe Band. Eventually, their kids moved on from pipe bands, but not Vince and Sylvia. They continued to go on trips to Scotland with the Fraser band, and when the City of Regina Pipe Band started in 1992, they also attended our events regularly. Over the years, they have supported our every ceilidh, concert and social, and are always in the background when the band plays at a pub, has a send-off, or a public performance. Last summer, they came to Scotland with the band, and in 2010, they were there cheering us on at every turn. These are really fine people, who love pipe bands, piping and everything Scottish, and whose long-term enthusiasm has really made a difference to the pipe band. We love to see them out, and it's always more fun when they are there.
Framed right between Sylvia and Vince is Melita Clemence, who raised a family of six, and who had all six in the pipe band! Melita is another long-term contributor to Scots/Irish culture in the city. She supports everything the pipe bands do, and she has donated many beautiful handmade items for silent auctions, and she is always there with a cheerful laugh about the latest happening. She kept all six kids busy in pipe bands, and to this day daughters Pat (half-hidden behind Sylvia) and Arlene are both members of the CRPB, and their kids have all been members of the Conservatory Pipe Band and the CRPB, and they have all volunteered, donated and been the backbone of many initiatives for pipe bands and also Irish dancing in Regina.
Way in the back of this photo is Brett Stinson, who came to the band aged 20 or so, and who has been an excellent band member, Lead Drummer and drum instructor for the band all these years. His dedication to working with kids in the Conservatory band has been amazing, and the results of his efforts have at times made up the bulk of both bands.
And last, at the right of the photo is drummer Will Currums. Willie moved to Saskatchewan from Ireland last summer, and is anxiously waiting for his family to join him this spring. Willie has been an absolute gift to the pipe band, and also to the country. It's always great when a new band member moves to the area, and it's been amazing to have someone locally with Willie's sheer passion for pipe bands and the music, and for living in general.
So there you have it. A little snapshot out of a band Sunday, with people who have been contributing to pipe bands for years, and without whom the pipe band world would be much poorer.