AN experience of a lifetime was the consensus of the members of Sutherland Schools Pipe Band who attended the Centennial Calgary Stampede this past fortnight.
Thirty pipers and drummers, along with 11 support staff, travelled to Canada, leaving Golspie at 2am on 4 July. They were met at Calgary Airport by a lassooing cowboy and also by Harold Leslie and family, who are related to the Goskirks of Lairg.
The highlight of a very busy trip was playing in the Calgary Stampede’s opening pre-parade (pictured) cheered on by 350,000 spectators, many of whom had camped out overnight for the best views. The band were also asked to play at three stampede breakfasts, which are held at various locations in Calgary.
The band was complimented on their playing and conduct throughout the trip with many people asking when they were performing next.
Trips to Calgary Zoo, Banff, and the Stampede Grounds were enjoyed by everyone, especially the Gondola Trip up to the Rockies and the Grand Finale Show at the Stampede.
The band were transported around the Calgary area by Jaimelyn Ross and Ron Ridd of the Southland Transport Company who treated them like family and arranged for a great day out at Sundance Lake, a community run leisure facility. A great time was had fishing, swimming in the lake and playing games with the drivers’ families.
The band were overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of everyone they met in Canada, including the Leslie and Day families who treated them to a great day out in Carstairs.
Also the Cochrane Men of Vision Pipe Band who arranged a visit to the Calgary Heritage Park, and a fantastic ceilidh and barbeque.
Sutherland School’s Pipe Band are performing tomorrow (Saturday) at the County Show, Dornoch, and at Lairg Gala Week.