Members of the Whalley Legion had been talking over the years about the possibility of having a Pipe Band formed to represent and play for the Legion, in the community, and the surrounding area. In 1999, the Legion began sponsoring the 767 Dearman Air Cadet Squadron Pipe Band (which sadly disbanded in 2008). Through this youth support, it was brought to the Executive to have a Legion Pipe Band formed, which would give the youth not only room to grow and join the Senior Pipe Band, but become members of the Legion in the future.
The Pipe Band was in the concept stage for almost a year. Several members of the Legion, led by Gord Fergus and Garth Newlands, and with help from others, campaigned to have the band formed. On 18 February 2002, the Whalley Legion Pipe Band received final approval for backing from the membership and Executive of the Whalley Legion to be able to call the Legion home for our base of operations.
On May 5, 2003, the membership voted to change the name of the band, by unanimous vote it was agreed to change our name from The Whalley Pipe Band to The Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band.
With the band now more than a year old, our numbers were growing. After our first year of operation we had seen people come and go, but now had six pipers and two drummers, material for kilts and some uniform items.
Sponsorship to get the band into uniform had come from several different groups, companies, and individuals in the community. Donations and Grants had been received from the BC Lottery Corporation, Whalley Legion Branch #229, the Dowco Group of Companies, Rite-Way Metals Ltd., and the City of Surrey.
On April 3, 2006 we received official Society status for the Province of British Columbia and became the Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band Society (No. S-50486). With the formation of the Society we divided into 3 programs: Piping, Drumming, and Highland Dance. We have since streamlined our organization with four Society Directors and three Executive for the three programs.
Changes in the way the Provincial and Federal governments handle things between the Corporate Registry and Canada Revenue Agency saw our Society being assigned a Provincial business number 85790 3124 BC0001 on November 17, 2011.
February 2012 we expanded main website at Welcome – Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band which has links to other great aspects of the band through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
On 1 July 2018 the Whalley Legion and the Pipe Band parted ways after 16 years of dedication from the band to the Legion. With with demolition of the 60+ year old building in April 2019 the Pipe Band was going to be without a practice location. Our pipe major, Garth Newlands once again offered up his home to hold practices until a new venue can be found.
The future is looking great for the band as we continue to grow and develop. In 2018, we took part in our first mini season of competition and played at 3 events. The Annual Gathering, Bellingham Highland Games and BC Highland Games.
Even with our limited outings the band placed 2nd in the aggregate for the season in Grade 5. For many of the players it was their first experience with playing in competition. The pipe band has put out the call to those who are playing with performance or street bands to come join us for the 2020 season as a competition pipe band in grades 4 and 5.
In 2020, the World changed in an instance, Covid-19 has struck and all activities for the Society have halted. We have no idea how long this will last or when things will return to normal. The Society will continue to operate in the background until such a time as things return to normal.
March 2022, we are hopeful that things are returning to the pre-Covid state and practices and performances will be returning soon. It’s time to grown the Society and our Learning and Pipe Band Programs.
We look forward to seeing you soon and hope that Cedar Hills Caledonia Pipe Band will be the band for you!
The tartan that is being worn by the Cedar Hills Caledonain Pipe Band Society is a more formal style in the “Military setting” of The Clan Newlands tartan. It was also the choice of the Air Cadets to honor a former member of the Squadron, Colin Newlands who had passed away suddenly in 1996 and was known as the Squadron Piper. Colin had played as the lone Piper on Remembrance Day for more than 10 years along with many other functions for both the Air Cadets and the Legion during that time.
One of the Clan Chief’s, William Newlands of Lauriston, gave the official approval of the Clan for both bands and our Society to use the Newlands tartan for their choice of kilts.
Two areas will continue to be the focus for the next few years and they are fund raising and membership. We are always looking for individuals of all ages to join the ranks and make this a strong Society.
Fund Raising, is the one of the main areas of our focus. We are looking to raise $50,000 dollars to get the Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band Society fully outfitted with all the necessary equipment and supplies to run all of our programs successfully.
The Pipe Band Program has members perform at many events each year in community parades, festivals and public events and is available for all bookings for any events or occasions. If you are looking to book the Pipe Band or members for your event, please contact the Society Secretary through the Contact page to make arrangements.
Long range goals for the Pipe Band would be a trip to the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland, to see the Worlds best competing and to take part. We would also like to be involved in Local and International competitions in Canada, U.S.A, and Scotland.