In September 2019, the Pipes and Drums of the Edmonton Police Service travelled to Scotland. The purpose of the trip was to pay homage to the pioneering men and women who responded to the call for recruits and travelled to Edmonton during a period of population expansion in the city in the early 1950’s. A similar pipe band trip to Ireland took place in 2010 in honour of the Irish volunteers who also answered the recruiting call during that time. In all 100 men and women left the security of their homes in the British Isles for an unknown future in the north of Canada. Several of those men would be instrumental in the shaping of the current fabric of the police service. In 1959 some of these men were also responsible for rekindling the pipe band that had been on hiatus since the end of the First World War.
The band travelled to many of the home towns of these pioneers including, Dumfries, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Highlands. Several of our current members can trace their roots back to Scotland with names such as McDonald, McKee, MacEachern, McIntyre, McMorran, McMechan, McLeod, amongst others.
The band performed at a handful of schools in Ayrshire, including a session with the Scotland National School Pipe Band. They played at various public events including the Ayr marathon, and at historic sites before numerous tourists. Stops included Glencoe and the highlight, Stirling Castle.
The pipe band was honoured to meet local dignitaries and exchange goodwill with all whom we came in contact with as ambassadors of the Edmonton Police Service, City of Edmonton, Province of Alberta and Canada.