The official year of the founding of the Fergus Pipe Band is 1927. Sources of information for this brief
account include newspaper articles, but particularily helpful have been contributions from former band
members. In the formative years, J.W. (Jack) MacDonald served as piping instructor and acting pipe
major, and J.W. Henderson Sr. was drumming instructor. Beginning in 1930, Thos. Patterson, formerly
with the Guelph Pipe Band, assumed the position of pipe major. Thos. MacDonald, an experienced
drummer with highland regiments and a World War I veteran, took over the duties of drumming
instructor. Funds were needed for the purchase of uniforms and initially the band paraded in 'civies'.
Two of the founding members had served with the Seaforth Highlanders in the first World War. They
adopted the MacKenzie tartan that was worn by the Seaforth Highlanders, and the band continues to
wear the tartan today. Merchant James Russell (now James Russell & Sons Ltd.) provided the lumber
and the site for members of the Pipe Band to run a refreshment stand in Fergus to raise these funds.
Thanks to this venture and the generosity of the local citizens, the funds were raised. The first parade
in full uniform took place in June 1931 when the band led the I.O.O.F. church parade in Fergus. By
1932, the Fergus Pipe Band was competeing successfully in local competitions in Ontario.
For decades, the Fergus Pipe Band has enjoyed a solid reputation as a street band. The band has
participated in parades both locally in Ontario and elsewhere, including performance in the U.S.A.
Since the first Highland Games in Fergus in 1946, the band has been part of the program. Highlights
over the years have included parading in Maple Leaf Gardens in the 1950's; participating in Warrior's Day
parades at the C.N.E.; participating annually in Remembrance Day and Church Parades in Elora, Salem
and Fergus, and participating in competitions in Detroit, Michigan, Barrie, Orillia, Hanover and Fergus.
The support provided by the community and the Fergus Legion (Br. #275) has been an important
factor in accounting for the success of the band. As with any organization, the band has periodically
had years where pipers and/or drummers were inshort supply. We are particularily indebted to those
who continued to participate and provide financial and moral support sduring those times. For example,
including his years serving overseas in the Second World War, Jim Mackenzie piped in the band for
Thanks to an active recruiting program, the band has enjoyed a resurgance in membership over the past
number of years and now is able to provide a very large band for street parades and competition bands
in both grades 4 & 5. The Grade 5 band had a successful competion season in 2003 winning first prize at
the Fergus Highland Games and being awarded the Pipers' and Pipe Band Society of Ontario's Grade 5
PIPE MAJORS (1927-2004)
J.W. (Jack) Macdonald - piping instructor and acting Pipe Major
Thos. Patterson - 1930-1938
Percy Gibson - (1938-1942) (1946-1957) (1970-1978)
Walter (Scotty) Henderson (1942-1946) (1957-1970)
Jim Mackenzie 1978-1984
Robert Dewar 1984-1997
Sam Harrop 1997-1999
Pat Martin 1999-2000
Scott B. Davidson 2000-2004
Sean Geddes 2004-present