The EUSPBA Circle of Honor
Robert Gilcrist was born in Bishopbriggs, Scotland. He played in the grade 2 Kenmure Pipe Band, led by the legendary Robert G. Hardie.
He emigrated to the Delaware area in the early 50's with his lifelong friend George Bell.
Bob formed City of Wilmington Pipe Band with drummers John Murray and Matt McConnell.
He was preceded in death by his wife of many years, Janet, who was a co-owner of their Highland Supply company in the 60's.
Bob and Janet were the god parents of George and Shirley Bell's son Donald K. Bell.
One of the many highlights in Bob's career was the formation of the Ogilvy Highlanders. Many of the top soloists from that era were taught through the City of Wilmington/Ogilvy Highlanders systems.
James Lindsay of Morristown, New Jersey was instrumental in the founding of the EUSPBA. He was the father of the famous piper and teacher Donald F Lindsay.
He was the founder if the Invermark School of Piping in Peterburg, NY. This was the first such school of its kind in the United States and continues today under the direction of his son, Donald.
Duncan McCaskill was the Pipe Major of the Lovat Cameron Pipe Band of NY/ NJ. He was a pupil of James Yardley emigrating to the States at a young age.
He had a big family with his wife of many years, Mary; 5 girls and 1 son, Duncan Jr. Duncan taught many of the outstanding pipers in the area, most notably his son Duncan, and James Stack.
He was a founding member of the EUSPBA and an outstanding judge of bands and light music.
John Murray was born in Motherwell, Scotland, where he grew up and learned the electrical trade prior to departure to the United States. After arriving in Wilmington, Delaware, he went to work for the DuPont Company.
He was a key figure in starting up a pipe band in Wilmington, known as the Gordon Heights Pipe Band. This band later became the City of Wilmington Pipe Band whose first Pipe Major was the late Bob Gilchrist.
Although I was from the same town in Scotland as John, I had never met him until I came to the United States and was invited to join the new pipe band.
John was a great believer in introducing young boys to pipe band drumming. Some of his students were started at 9, 10, and 11 years old. Most of them are now Open solo players and judges, and stand in great testimony to his teaching abilities and his love of pipe music.
John and I did many drumming schools together over the years, but I think he will be missed most at the North American Academy of Piping held each year in North Carolina. He always had an encouraging word, not only for his own students, but for all who attended the school.
He was well known for his funny stories, and if he thought you needed cheering up he was always ready with one. John had four children: Margie, Ronnie, Glen, and Sandy. Margie and Ronnie have followed in their father’s footsteps in piping and drumming.
(Originally published in The Voice, Winter 1996)