Ian Embelton.

Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the RSPBA, is to retire at the end of November. The 69-year-old informed the organisation’s Board of Directors today. Embelton, pictured, has been Chief Exectuve for almost 20 years.

The RSPBA said today in a statement: “Ian had originally intended to retire after the World Pipe Band Championships in 2020, but with the current situation he agreed to delay his retirement until later in the year.

“Ian has been pivotal to the organisation since he joined us in March 2001, and after almost 20 years, and now that he is approaching his 70th birthday, he feels the time is right to retire. The Board expressed their [sic] sincere thanks to Ian for his service over the years, and the energy, dedication, and knowledge he brought to the organisation. Ian has kindly offered to remain within the organisation on a part-time basis post-November, to assist with transition.”

Embelton is credited with turning around the RSPBA’s finances and putting the organisation on a steady course. However, the latter years of his tenure have seen the organisation’s £1-million+ renovation of its Glasgow headquarters mired in controversy, an investigation by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, the World Pipe Band Championships becoming a two-day event, the loss of its Northern Ireland branch executive to the Spring Gatherin’ event and the short-lived removal of overseas judges.

Embelton’s retirement comes at a time of uncertainly in the pipe band governing body over how it and the pipe band world can adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We wish Ian a long and happy retirement.

The Worlds, 2018.