Prairie Pipe Band
Association of Manitoba

Serving the Piping and Drumming Community in Manitoba

Transcona & District Pipe Band

Transcona & District Pipe Band at our 2018 Open House Oct 2 2018

Over the years there have been many incarnations of the Pipe Band hosted within the community of Transcona: Transcona Youth Pipe Band, City of Transcona Pipe Band, Transcona Senior Band, Transcona Junior “A” Pipe Band, Transcona Junior “B” Pipe Band, and today, the Transcona & District Pipe Band

While serving as a piper in 402 Air Reserve Pipe Band, John Pollock got the idea of starting a youth pipe band in Transcona. On December 18, 1964, a meeting was held and Mr. Doug Hassan, Chairman of the Transcona Pipe Band, introduced the idea to the Boy Scouts of Canada, Transcona Springfield District. Lessons were started in the Scouts Hall in early 1965.

As time passed it was found that most of the boys had left the Scout movement and that some young ladies wanted to join, so on February 25, 1967, it was decided with reluctance that the Band would separate from the Scouting movement. With the Band separating from the Scouting movement an executive was elected made up mainly of parents of the students. The Transcona Youth Pipe Band was born. The next item on the agenda was for the Band to order kilts. After much discussion it was decided that the Band would adopt the Ancient Gunn Tartan as the official band tartan. This was chosen in honour of John W. Gunn who was a grandson of one of the original Selkirk Settlers that arrived in 1813. When Transcona incorporated in 1912, he was one of the first Councilors and one of the first School Board members. The Band ordered 21 kilts and they were presented to Band members on June 4, 1967. On Sunday, June 18, 1967, at the Transcona Legion Decoration Day Parade, Mrs. John W. Gunn met the band who were proudly wearing the Ancient Gunn Tartan.

In March 1971, the Band was saddened with the untimely death of John Pollock but carried on with new leadership and determination. In August 1973, the Band traveled to Scotland to compete in competitions there. They were quite successful and won the competition in Rothesay.

The next few years saw a number of former students take over the Pipe Major role of the Band. In 1975, Ian Evans took over the Junior Band from Rod Neufeld. In 1978, the Junior Band disbanded and in March 1978, Ian Evans took over the Senior Band till 1984, when the original Transcona Pipe Band folded.

In 1984, former Pipe Major George Lawrence returned to Transcona. A meeting was held in the Transcona Legion Hall in November 1984, where he expressed his wish to re-start the Transcona Pipe Band. This time it would be a Junior Band with the age of 19 being the age of graduation from the Band. The new Band would now be called Transcona & District Pipe Band as it would encompass a larger area and they would wear the Ancient Gunn tartan. They got started with donated drums, lots of small uniforms and $1,000. cash from the previous Band. An executive was elected and to get things started a “Burn’s Night” was held in January 1985.

The band has traveled extensively around North America and returned and competed in Scotland many times. The Band has been enormously successful during these many years and has become a recognized name in the Piping World.

Currently under Ryan Stewart as Pipe Major, the band has been rebuilding after a number of members reached the age where they moved on to other bands. New members are learning their craft and without question will continue to uphold the tradition of the band. With the backing of a very active Parents Association behind them, the band continues to hold Robert Burns Suppers annually, and since the 50th Anniversary year of the band has help an annual Transcona piping competition, which has now growing into a very large event indeed, the Transcona Highland Gathering.