Please find attached the Notice of the Annual General Meeting for Pipe Bands Victoria (Pipe Bands Australia Inc. Victoria Branch) which has been scheduled for Wednesday 16 December 2020 at 8:00pm. The Branch Officer nomination form and proxy form is also attached.

Regrettably, on 7 October, Pipe Bands Victoria has received the following from the Federation University Pipe Band, the promoter of the Ballarat Highland Gathering:

“At a meeting held earlier this evening, the FedUni Pipe Band has made the decision to cancel the 2021 Ballarat Highland Gathering that was scheduled for late February 2021.

This is due to the unknown COVID restrictions that might still be in place in Victoria, an inability to restrict numbers to our Gathering and the time limitations for Bands to be “ready” for competing once restrictions ease.”

The winners of the Annual Trophies for the Victorian Highland Gatherings sponsored by Chris Hosking and Chris Earl for the 2020 season, are;
Grade 4B
Duncan MacLennan MBE Memorial Cup – Aggregate Piping & Drumming
City of Melbourne HPB #2
Ernie Cartwright Memorial Shield – Dress & Drill
City of Melbourne HPB #2
Grade 4A – This is the inaugural year for these trophies to be awarded.
Don McPhie Trophy – Aggregate Piping & Drumming
St Arnaud NSM
Ian Morison OAM Trophy – Dress & Drill
St Arnaud NSM
Grade 3
Bill Bruce Trophy – Aggregate Piping & Drumming
Victoria Scottish Pipe Band
Ernie Cartwright Memorial Cup – Dress & Drill
City of Melbourne HPB #1
Apologies for the lateness of this announcement. Access Auto Parts have sponsored these trophies for many years now with the aim of rewarding bands for their efforts and encouraging attendance at Gatherings. With an increase in the number of grades and awards presented, Chris Earl now supports Chris Hosking in the funding and presentation of these awards.
Thankyou both for your ongoing commitment and support for our bands and we look forward to trophies being presented to bands at time we can all meet again.

A press release was issued on 2 September by the Maryborough Highland Society cancelling the postponed 2020 Pipe Band Championships. Pipe Bands Victoria understands this has been communicated directly to those bands who had entered the Championships.

The following link is to the press release issued by the Highland Society:

Pipe Bands Victoria has this week received notification that the 2021 Geelong Highland Gathering has been cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19.

Whilst Pipe Bands Victoria has not been formally advised, it has also been brought to our attention that the Daylesford Highland Gathering originally scheduled for December 2020 has also been cancelled. Band secretaries have been advised of the revised status of these two contests for the coming season.

The Branch is continuing to liaise with all promoters regarding the status of each contest leading into 2021, and will communicate advice as and when it is received. Whilst these recent cancellations are disappointing, we are acutely aware that the health and safety of members and spectators is the highest priority of both the Branch and our promoters. We look forward to Government advice enabling larger gatherings to take place, thus allowing the resumption of band practices and other activities.

Formal advice has been received from the Ringwood Highland Gathering secretary that the event scheduled for 11 October 2020 has been cancelled and refund of entry fees to bands will be processed forthwith.

The Ringwood Highland Gathering is now scheduled to run on Sunday 28 March 2021.

Pipe Bands Victoria advises that the Secretary, Karen Wallace has resigned and is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) for the position of Secretary. Applications are to be submitted by email to no later than 5:00pm on Friday 12 June 2020.

All correspondence and enquiries to Pipe Bands Victoria should continue to be sent to the official PBV secretarial email address

On behalf of the members, the Executive Committee of Pipe Bands Victoria sincerely thanks Karen for her support of our bands and our pipe band community. Karen was initially elected Assistant Secretary, but on the return of the Secretary at the time, Ross Connolly to New Zealand, Karen filled the role of Acting Secretary and was recently appointed Secretary due to Ross resigning due to his continued residence in New Zealand. Karen has filled this role with enthusiasm and in a short period, furthered the work of Ross before her in streamlining contest preparation and administration, as well as reaching out to our bands and members to assist them with association business and activities.

The Executive Committee also sincerely thanks Ross Connolly for his dedication and contribution to our community. Ross initially filled the Secretary role following the sudden death of Peter Cook, and Ross contributed greatly in this role over the past six years. Ross’s involvement with Pipe Bands Victoria and the VHPBA began back in 2001 when he commenced co-editing the band’s magazine and started writing the “Coffee with Rossco” articles. In 2004, Ross joined the Executive as Vice President, a position he held until he became Secretary in 2014. Ross also made a valuable contribution by obtaining several funding grants over the years to assist with facilitating activities for pipe bands. Ross also re-cast the method of presentation of the Sir Rupert Hamer Award thereby improving the recognition of this significant award. Ross also archived and managed the equipment and materials of the association, including the task of preparing for all our contests, was until recently the Vice Principal of Rules and Administration. Ross has advised he wishes to continue to support our pipe bands as a Contest Supervisor.

ANZAC Day was a beautiful still morning in Melbourne with stunning red skies over the bay. Although the Dawn Service at the Shrine was not open to the public, many in the community took the opportunity to remember those who gave their lives and served their country and local musicians performed the Last Post .

Many of our pipers and drummers performed at 11am and a wonderful selection of performances has been posted on the Pipe Bands Australia facebook page.

Thankyou to teaching staff Lincoln, Dan, John and the over 60 Haileybury Pipes & Drums band members who prepared a special video featuring over 60 students recorded in social isolation, and they have asked we share this with the Victorian Pipe Band community as part of their commemoration of ANZAC Day.

Thank you also to all our pipers and drummers who registered via the Pipe Bands Australia website and facebook page and sent in photos and videos of their performances. We encourage all members to share their performances on ANZAC Day online via Pipe Bands Australia as per the advertised process. Many photographs have already been added to thePipe Bands Australia special online gallery recording the amazing tribute by pipers around Australia and more will be uploaded in coming days. Please email contributions to

The Australian Pipe Band Championships scheduled to be held in Maryborough, Victoria have now been postponed until April 10-11 2021. A memo has been distributed this afternoon to all band secretaries.

Please use the following link to the Pipe Bands Australia website for the full statement.

The latest communication from the Ringwood Highland Games is as follows.

Due to Government restrictions regarding COVID19, and on advice from our local authorities the Ringwood Highland Games and Celtic Festival WILL NOT take place on the 29th March 2020.

The Ceilidh programmed for the 27th March has also been postponed to a future date.

This is a world wide issue which has affected many gatherings around the globe.  Sadly we are also affected by this Pandemic.

Our Games have now been re-scheduled and not cancelled.

Our Executive is currently negotiating with our local council on a definite date & venue, however it will most likely be on a weekend in October 2020. 

We are still finalising many aspects of the rescheduled event including the precise venue and the exact date.

We have every intention to hold an even better event in October!

We will keep you informed.