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Canterbury wins Third Successive NZ Pipe Band Championship

9 March 2014

Canterbury wins Third Successive NZ Pipe Band Championship

At the New Zealand Pipe Band Championships on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 March 2013, the Canterbury Caledonian Society Pipe Band successfully defended the New Zealand Pipe Band Championship. Having won the Grade 1 Championship for the first time in 2012, then again in 2013 the Band travelled to Tauranga this year and completed a comprehensive “three peat”.

The Band, led by Pipe Major Richard Hawke and Drum Sergeant James Laughlin, both internationally regarded exponents of bagpipes and drums, won the Grade 1 Medley, Selection and Street March events, the New Zealand Drumming Championship and also took trophies for the best bass and tenor section.

Band Chairman, Richard Smith, sees the Championship as a reward for all of the hard work, dedicated practice and effort of the band members and supporters, in particularly trying circumstances. The Canterbury Caledonian Society was based at the Caledonian Hall in Kilmore Street, Christchurch however that building was destroyed by the earthquake on 22 February 2011. Since then all of the Society’s pipe bands have been practicing in various facilities around Christchurch with no permanent base.

“These results clearly place the Canterbury Caledonian Society as the leading pipe band organisation in New Zealand. This reflects the investment in tutoring and training which the Society has made in its pipe bands, through the generous support of organisations such as the Canterbury Community Trust which has provided grants specifically for tuition purposes”, said Smith.

In August this year the Band will again travel to Glasgow to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships. Last year the Band qualified for the final and finished a credible 11th in the world. The Band hopes that with winning the 2012, 2013 and now 2014 NZ Pipe Band Championships that will be a springboard for further success in Scotland. The cost of that trip will be in excess of $150,000 however, so with the Nationals now behind them the Band is now focusing on and fundraising, and learning some new tunes!


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