Archive for the ‘1945 Music’ Category


The Pyranon Ballroom Chatham

July 12, 2010

Venue: The Pyranon Ballroom
What: Chatham’s premier dance hall
Location: Chatham Ontario
Year: 1945

   When record hops were the in thing, as many as 1,600 young people would come out on a Friday night to dance. The music they were excited about was Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and the likes of.
   Many big acts of the time played this venue on Colborne Street.  The Wilf Lancaster Orchestra was the local band that performed there regularly.

The Pyranon was constructed by Maurice Smyth. The first group to play the hall was Al Edwards and his band from Windsor.
Other events at the Pyranon: Bingo, wrestling, proms, fashion shows, banquets, social and political gatherings.

Big Bands that played: Sammy Kaye, Victor Lombardo, Vaughn Monroe, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, The Glen Miller orchestra, Les Brown, and Gene Krupa. The local ‘Big Band’ Wilf Lancaster Orchestra performed there regularly.


Branch 28 Pipe Band (1945)

July 3, 2009

Branch 28 Royal Canadian Legion Pipe Band
: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Year: 1945

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Band photo in front of old Branch location, around 1947-48
Back Row: Joe Simms, Anges Golbathe, Elmer Howard, Joe MacDonald, Hank Brown, Ken Hamilton, Mr. Morrel,
Roger Brown, Charlie Pollock

  Front Row: P/M John MacDonald, Bobby Patterson, Tom Anderson, Harry Anderson, Len Sketcher, Bill Tuskington,
Bill Laurie, Bob Dickie

   Sixty plus years (as of 2006) of continuous service is a long time and quite an accomplishment for any organization, particularly a Pipe Band. Initially formed in 1945, it wasn’t until 1946 that the pipes and drums of Branch 28 marched forth in the tartan it still wears today, the Stewart of Fingask.

The band personnel were:
Pipe Major Robert Dickie
  Pipers John MacDonald, Sandy Kennedy, Rodger Brown, George Simms, Bill Hamilton, Ken Hamilton, Harry Brown, Charlie Pollock, George MacDonald and Ken Kenny.

Drummers Glen Pearson, Bill Turkington, Bill Laurie, Bobby Patterson, Jim Haynes and Len Sketcher.

   In 1962, a Junior Pipe Band was formed by Comrade George MacDonald and it was from this group the Senior Band was able to maintain its supply of excellent pipers and drummers. The fact that three of the Junior Band pipers have gone on to become Pipe Major of the Senior Band speaks well for them and their instructors.

   Throughout the years following its formation, Branch 28 Pipe Band has performed in parades across Ontario, Quebec, and the neighbouring states of Michigan and Ohio. Thousands of miles have been marched and countless hours of music have been played. The band has participated at numerous Zone, District, Provincial and Dominion Legion conventions. It has represented Canada in the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans on two occasions, 1968 and 1994. On both occasions, it had the honour of being invited and was the only pipe band to participate.

   In April of 2002, the pipe band participated in the Scotland Power Tartan Day celebrations in New York City. The band, along with over 7000 other pipers and drummers marched down 6th Ave. (Avenue of The Americas) and into Central Park. The event was twofold: one to celebrate Tartan Day, and two, to raise money for cancer research through the Gilda Radner House.

   Members of the band have also taken part in the 55th and 60th anniversaries of the liberation of Holland.

   The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 28 Pipe Band has the distinct honour of being one of the oldest, continuously active Legion Pipe Band in the province of Ontario.

Senior Pipe Majors: Robert Dickie  1945-1949 
John MacDonald  1949-1950 
Sandy Kennedy  1950-1954 
Henry Brown  1954-1963 
George MacDonald  1963-1965 
Max Crawford  1965-1980 
Dick Laurie  1980-1992 
Walter Tomaszewski  1992-1996 
Ken Poole  1996-2002 
Ron Stead  2002-2006 
Jeff Campbell  2006-