Council Chair hosts reception to mark the 75th Anniversary of Tubrid Pipe Band

16th December 2022

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Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen / Fellow Councillors

As Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I would like to very warmly welcome you all here to the Townhall for this reception to recognise the 75th anniversary of Tubrid Pipe Band.

This is a magnificent achievement and milestone year for the Band and for your wider community.

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to host this reception to gain a better understanding of your Band and your tradition.

And also to acknowledge the musical excellence and talent within the Band.

I am advised that Tubrid Band was formed on 01 October 1947 by five local men who sat around an open fire to form a committee and establish the Band.

These men were Rev G Reginald Howe, Mr Sam Moore, Mr Richard Kidney, Mr Edward Noble and Mr William Henry Woods.

I understand that, in the early days, the Pipe Major was Mr Percy Johnston who was assisted by Mr Sean Donaghey, an Irish Guard Sergeant stationed in Ballyshannon.  During the 75 years you have only had three Pipe Majors with the other two being Mr Stanley Marshall, who was Pipe Major for 60 years, and currently Mr Howard Marshall.

The first Drum Major was Mr Freddie Gibson followed by Mr Albert Noble, Mr Jimmy Gibbons, Mr Gordon Noble, Mr Stephen Sproule and currently Ms Cathy Ogle.

The current Drum Sergeant is Mr Elmer Marshall who succeeded Mr Willie Robinson, Mr Jack Thompson, Mr Charlie Thompson and Mr John Thompson.

Over the years the band has seen a steady flow of members and currently has 23 with a further nine in training.

You also recently welcomed a group of girls following the Covid-19 lockdown.

At this stage, I would like to acknowledge Howard and Elmer Marshall who train the members in piping and drumming.

Being part of a band involves significant commitment including attending practice nights and continuing to practice at home, all alongside your own personal commitments.

However, it is like belonging to a unique family, a close community giving you the opportunity to make lifelong friends and have fun.

I also believe it must be rewarding as it not only teaches you the skills of piping and drumming but many valuable life skills including teamwork, better communication and increased confidence.

It is a remarkable achievement that this band in a rural area of Fermanagh has achieved this significant milestone.  This is testament to the dedication and hard work of all the members – from the five gentlemen in 1947 through to the present day in terms of practicing, fundraising and encouraging new members.

As well as supporting each other.

Music is not created by one note but a variety of notes coming together in harmony.  I would like to congratulate all the members of the band, past and present, for the contribution you have made to the history of Tubrid Band.  You can be very proud of the part you have played.