by Dr. JACK TAYLOR.
Lonach Games has announced that this year, and for the next 50 years, a generous donor has given £1000 towards the piobaireachd competitions. The date is Saturday, August 26, between the Oban and Inverness competitions, so is a golden opportunity for pipers from all over to come to beautiful Strathdon in Aberdeenshire. Enter here before August 13 preferably, although this year entries are accepted on the field.
The winner will receive £500 and the Charles Morrison medal. Second place will receive £300, and third place £200.
The donation has been made by Ivan Reid in memory of his uncle Charles Morrison, a man of music, born 1899, served in WW1, emigrated to Canada before returning to his native land to work in the family grocers business. He piped with the Lonach Pipe Band, still a strong force today, and he also played the fiddle, the cornet and the saw.
In a programme note Ivan Reid writes: “In the days before television brought the curtain down on DIY entertainment, Uncle Charlie and his fiddling friends would often gather to make music, an impromptu concert in the store of the shop. His expertise in prising music from a crosscut saw, held upright between the knees, the blade twisted to various degrees and played with a bow was demonstrated on stage as a member of our local concert party, The Strathdon Sparklers.”
It was Ivan Reid’s respect for his Uncle’s love of the music and the associated camaradarie which led to the gift being made.
Ivan added: “In years to come my wish is for pipers to mark on their calendar the fourth Saturday in August when in increasing numbers they journey to the arena in Bellabeg to compete in friendly rivalry.
“My Uncle Charlie would have smiled saying, ‘I like the sound of that’.”