This June, the Vancouver Police Pipe Band will crown their centennial year by travelling to England to perform in the Changing of the Guard, the first non-military pipe band to perform in the ceremony’s 350-year history.
The Vancouver Police Pipe Band is an icon within their local piping community, and has proudly represented the police force and City of Vancouver for a century.
The Vancouver Police Pipe Band leaves for London on June 7 and will perform the Beating Retreat at the Horse Guards Parade on June 11 and 12.
On June 16, 19, 22 and 25, they will be at Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard ceremony at 11:30 a.m. They will also be at Windsor Castle on June 24 and 26 for the 11:00 a.m. changing of the guard.
The Vancouver Police Pipe Band has played throughout the world, including the Calgary Stampede parade, Canada Day celebrations in Singapore, beaches in Bali, castles in Scotland and the prestigious Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Kanagawa Festival in Japan, Beating Retreat ceremonies in Hong Kong, US Naval Air stations across the United States, in Holland at the Netherlands International Tattoo, and in Italy, Switzerland and Berlin.
As the official pipe band for the City of Vancouver, and throughout their many travels, the band has played for royalty, heads of state and dignitaries.
“It is always a great honour, as a police pipe band, to play for a member of the Royal Family. But to go to Buckingham Palace to play for our head of state in the Changing of the Queen’s Guard is an immeasurable honour in our centennial year celebration,” says Pipe Sergeant Bob Murphie. “We look forward to working with the Guards Regiments of the Household Division, who we consider to be the very best in the world at what they do. The excitement is definitely building.”
Formed in 1914, the Vancouver Police Pipe Band is the oldest non-military pipe band in British Columbia, and with 100 years of uninterrupted service, stands as the longest continually serving police pipe band in the world.
“When those ten constables first gathered to practice in 1914, most of them had no experience with the pipes or drums, and they performed in just their regular police uniforms,” says Deputy Chief Warren Lemcke, Band Officer. “I’m certain that never in their wildest dreams did they think the band would one day play in the Changing of the Guard.”
Featured Image: Buckingham Palace London via Shutterstock