History of the band

A group of players came together at a Highland Gathering in Canberra in 1928 as the Burns Club Pipe Band. In the mid 1930’s Jack Ross and Sandy Stuart recruited players to form a permanent band.

After the 2nd World War Jack Ross and David Stirling rebuilt the band. By 1948 the band comprised 7 pipers; Jack Ross, David Stirling, Robert Stuart, G Kennedy, J Somerville, G Christie, Tom Stirling and 7 drummers; Colin McKenzie, David McKay, Bill Bruce, Jim Ogilvie, Jim McGowan, Bill McHardy, Bill Robb.

King George VI was petitioned to approve the Band wearing of the Royal Stewart tartan, which was granted.

1952-53 Betty Martin (nee- Kellie) became the first female to join the band.

1954 new players included George Waterson, Don Fraser, Adam Macintosh, Robert Davidson, Brian Perrin, Victor Batch, Jim Orr, Harry Schmidt, John Wallace, David Turbitt and Bob Ellis. The Band also played as the Third Battalion of the Werriwa Regiment of the Australian Army for 3 years.

1957 Bill Nicholson joined the Band.

1958 the first competition was entered.

1960 John Skinner, Bob Walker join the Band.

1962 the Band won its first competition at Newcastle in grade 3.

1964 the Band won again at Newcastle. Will Brown Snr., Tom Brown, Jim Moyes, Bill Rudd and Joe Haxten joined the Band.

1965 Australian Championships in Melbourne saw the Band win 2nd Grade. A 3rd place at Newcastle at the New South Wales Championships.

1966 2nd place in Queanbeyan.

1967 band was promoted to 1st grade. A last place at the Australian Championships allowed the band to be regraded into 2nd grade. The Kingston-Narrabundah RSL Memorial Pipe band was formed, players coming from Queanbeyan.

1968 2nd place at Newcastle. Following the competition 2 players were killed; John Duncan and Graham Leslie and 3 others injured in a car crash.

1970 Kingston-Narrabundah RSL Memorial Pipe band changed its name to James Reay Fraser Memorial Pipe Band. 1971 1st place at the South Australian championships in Adelaide.

1972 1st place Newcastle. 1st at Goulburn. Robbie Ogilvie become Pipe Major of the Fraser Pipe Band with several Burns Club players joining him there.

1973 1st place Wagga Wagga in grade 2 and 2nd in Grade 1.

1976 formation of the Canberra Caledonian Pipes & Drums with Norman McLean Pipe Major.

1992 Fraser Pipe Band players joined us.

1994 Burkley Competition saw the band compete for the first time in 10 years. The Band won grade 4. Following the competition the New South Wales PBA regraded the Band into 3rd Grade, after an appeal we were able to remain in 4th grade.

A major influx of players occurred following the members of the Canberra Caledonian Pipes and Drums joining us. With 50 players we were able to form 2 competition bands, grade 2 and 4.

Drum Majors

1994 – Present Bill Nicholson
1974 – 94
1965 – 74 Bill Rudd
1960 – 65 Tom Russell
1952 – 60 Charlie Caulfield
1948 – 52 Colin McKenzie

Pipe Majors

1994 – Present Athol Chalmers
1985 – 94 Jim Stuart
1984 – 85 Bill Dunbar
1983 – 84 Bruce Campbell
1976 – 83 Will Brown Jnr
1974 – 76 Will Brown Snr.
1970 – 74 Tom Brown
1968 – 70 Will Brown Snr.
1954 – 68 Jim Ogilvie
1952 – 54 David Stirling
193* – 52 Jack Ross

Grade 4

2013 – Present Ian Carruthers
2000 – 2012 John Brown
1999 – 2000 Stuart Gray
1995 – 97 John Brown
1994 – 95 Ian Carruthers