THE Penola and District Caledonian Pipe Band has marked the 70th anniversary since its first street march in the town.
Inaugural pipe band members marched from Reilly’s Corner through to the post office on August 11, 1950, marking the start of a long and proud history in front of around 2000 spectators.
Penola resident Angas Leggett founded the pipe band after conducting a solo march at the Anzac Day parade in 1949, sparking a public meeting with 25 people committed to form a band.
The band’s first practice was held on May 25, 1949 with 16 eager participants.
Building on their legacy, current pipe band president Neil McLean said it was an important anniversary for the small community group.
Members originally planned to gather this weekend with three founding members to celebrate the milestone, however it has since been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“It has been great to have some music of some sort among the community as there are a lot of Scottish heritage throughout the area,” Mr McLean said.
“One of the main things we do now is the Anzac Day march and play at dawn services but some individual players also perform at funerals which is very special.”
Mr McLean first joined the club during his primary school years, learning the side drums.
During high school he moved onto learning the pipes after a short break from the band.
“It is a big achievement to keep the band going for 70 years and it takes a lot of effort from us all to keep these traditions going,” he said.
“It is a very community involved club and you have quite a bit of pride when you are dressed in the quilt and appear at functions.”
The band previously performed in competitions but has since switched its focus to community involvement.
“We are a very sociable group and playing socially has helped the comradeship of the group,” Mr McLean said.