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Fergus Highland Games 1972

This was a very good contest AND the day that Clan MacFarlane beat the reigning world champion Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band.  Edinburgh City was still enjoying the win at the Scottish World Festival in Toronto.  The heat of August got the upper hand that day.  Now keeping everything in context, this was before the widespread use of tuning meters, carved and taped chanters, and moisture sytems, to which the Edinburgh Police will attest.  Also, all the bands were playing cane drone reeds.  When you think about it, pretty daunting.  Medley competitions were relatively new and I don't believe "ensemble" was a part of the scoring process.  Of note was the bass drumming of Jim Stewart of the Galt Fusiliers.  Big Jim was still a teenager and pushed the stero-typical job of the bass drummer way beyond "keeping a steady beat".  Today his impact on the big drum is just about universal.  I joined the Fusiliers the following year as they re-invented themselves as The Waterloo Regional Police Pipe Band.  Jim literally galvinized the pipers in the circle.  I had the please again many years later with Dofasco winning back-to-back North American Championships with Jim in the middle.  He was the real deal, all rolled into one!
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