When Scottish immigrants came to this area, they wanted a way to remember their homeland in a new place.
Some brought bagpipes, other drums, finding each other through the music of Scotland. By 1912, the group was recognized by the Fort William town council. And on Saturday, the Pipes and Drums of Thunder Bay celebrated a century, proof that their founding members had succeeded.
To honour those who went before them the group built a cairn, a large pile of towering rocks, as a way to remember and celebrate 100 years.
“My thoughts are when I see this, for every rock that’s up there there’s probably four or five members (represented),” co-president Don Murray said after unveiling the cairn Saturday at Friendship Gardens. “It’s something that will be there for many generations for people to come and remember former members of the band.”
It’s also a way to honour a member who passed away recently. Long time band leader Alister MacDonald’s family asked that people make donations to the band after his death in March. They used that money, along with countless volunteer hours, to build the memorial.
“It will be a lasting memorial to Alister MacDonald,” Murray said.
The cairn can be seen near the Scottish monument at the Friendship Gardens.
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