1914 – Formation of the Band

Announcement Date: November 1, 1914

1916aMed 21916 Cambie Street Grounds 2The band’s humble beginning occurred in 1914 at the opening of the “new” police station on Cordova Street. A handful of pipers within the department had organized themselves to play for the opening ceremonies. Chief Constable Malcolm MacLennan was so impressed with this performance that he authorized the formation of a departmental pipe band. The founding fathers quickly took up practice and tuition. At the inaugural meeting of the band Roderick Munro was elected President; Roderick MacLeod as Secretary; Joe Shields as Pipe Major and Andrew Campbell as Lead Drummer.

 

Police Constable #15, Roderick MacLeod described the beginnings of the band in a July 1954 article in the Piping Times as follows:

 

“To begin with, believe it or not, it seems that youth is not an essential quality. Filled with fiery enthusiasm and practicing assiduously under the late Pipe Major Donald MacIver of Vancouver, ten constables of the Vancouver City Police Force averaging thirty years of age, eight of whom had never before blown a chanter and five more who had never handled drum-sticks, took up practice in October, 1914, and the following April paraded in ordinary Police uniform, exchanging helmets then worn for caps, and as a band played at the opening of a Tournament in the Vancouver Horse Show Building. The man to lead the band in its first appearance was the late James Anderson, then Police Inspector and later Chief Constable who some years before had been piper on the staff of His Excellency the Governor-General of Canada. As the band started off playing the one piece that could be mastered at the time, “The MacKenzie Highlanders”, the cheers which resounded that day testified to the popularity of the first Police Pipe Band in Canada”.