On Friday, November 30 the Minister for Police Mark Ryan MP, Commissioner Ian Stewart and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) Pipes and Drums celebrated 60 years since their original foundation, Queensland Police say.
In addition to the 13 members who make up the current band, they were joined by many previous members from throughout the band’s history who all came to commemorate this occasion.
A commemorative painting by Donald J Waters OAM, whose works are found in collections all over the world including that of Queen Elizabeth II, was unveiled during the ceremony.
Since their formation in 1958, the Queensland Police Pipes and Drums have become an integral part of community and ceremonial events in Queensland.
In addition to official police events throughout Queensland, the QPS Pipes and Drums perform at public parades and at Government House, as well as nursing homes, charity events and hospitals.
Commissioner Stewart said this event was a powerful reminder of the contribution of the QPS Pipes and Drums to the identity of the QPS and the cultural life of Queensland.
“The music goes straight to the heart of audiences, inspiring awe and tapping into a deep sense of tradition,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“Throughout the years, the Pipes and Drums has been committed to delivering professional musical performances that enhance the positive image of the QPS and strengthen community engagement.”
As part of the Kops in Kilts program, Pipes and Drums regularly attend primary schools, and the Juvenile Pipes and Drums group offers tuition in pipes and drums and provides young people valuable life skills, allowing these members to compete in juvenile grade pipe band and solo piping and drumming competitions.
Queensland Police Pipes and Drums have competed successfully in pipe band competitions nationally and internationally, culminating in the band being promoted to Grade 1 and competing at the world championships in Glasgow, Scotland in 2001.
They have been invited to perform at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on two occasions in 1975 and 2006, and on the latter occasion also became the first Australian Pipe Band to perform for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Overall, the band conducts more than 300 performances every year. They tour widely throughout Queensland and this year held performances in Murgon and Cherbourg in the state’s south west.