ST Colmcille’s Pipe Band, Tullamore picked up two pieces of silverware at the Heart of Down Championships in Newcastle last Saturday on what was a bittersweet day for the band.
A second prize overall and first prize for the pipe corps continued the band’s successful run of form so far this season, but it also marked the final appearance of drummer and stalwart Willie Currams ahead of his emigration to Regina, Canada next week for work reasons.
Willie is currently the band’s chairman and recently relinquished the drum sergeant role, passing it on to Michael Middleton once he knew that emigration was imminent. It is four years this month since the band was resurrected having fallen by the wayside for a decade or so and, while it has required the efforts of many to restore it to the rude health which it enjoys today, no single contribution has been greater than Willie’s.
His loss will be incalculable on a number of fronts and there was a profound sense of sadness on Saturday among the band’s members, who are hoping that the popular electrician’s move doesn’t turn out to be a long-term one.
However, work permitting, Willie is planning to compete with the band at the World Championships in Glasgow in August, for which St Colmcille’s will be among the favourites in Grade 4A after adding two trophies to their haul for 2012 on Saturday last.
A strong performance saw the band take second place from a field of 15 for the third successive competition to take the Dromore Cup. They were narrowly edged out of first place by New Ross and District from Co Wexford, though Tullamore’s pipe corps had the significant consolation of taking first prize and the RJ Newell Memorial Cup.
The prize list was completed by Major Sinclair Memorial, Tullylagan and Syerla and District.
Attention now turns to the band’s next competitive outing, the blue riband event that is the All-Ireland Pipe Band Championships in Ballina, Co Mayo on July 7.
Band members which competed in Newcastle, Co Down last Saturday were (pipe corps) Pipe Major Joe Mooney, Pipe Sergeant John Leamy, Don Devine, Pat Nolan, Mick Foy, Pat Middleton, Paul Dempsey, Gary Mangan, (drum corps) Drum Sergeant Michael Middleton, Willie Currams, Ross Cannon, Hugh Conaghan, PJ Murphy, John O’Gorman, Ollie Pyke, Susan Feery, Martin Donnellan, Leo Middleton, Ciaran Whelan, Jordan Murphy and Cormac Jaffrey.