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On the 6th October 1919, the Committee of Gilnahirk Presbyterian Church was asked to consider an application from the newly formed Gilnahirk Pipe Band to have use of the Lecture Hall for practices.

It was agreed that the hall could be used one night per week, through until the month of July for the sum of £2 10 shillings. The only recorded condition was that no smoking, spitting or improper conduct be permitted in the hall

The founder of the Band was Norman F. Harper, the son of John C. Harper, who was senior elder in the Church at the time. Others who were in there at the beginning included Hugh Mann, John Young, John Miller, Harry Perry, John Duggan, James Simpson, Hugh Jackson, Hugh Swandel, William Boyd and William David Brown.

Rev Coulter from the Church took a keen interest in the band and the relationship with the Church has remained strong ever since.

Over the years, pipers and drummers were frequently present at Church events and older members of the congregation can remember the Band leading the Sunday School Outings away from the Church each summer.

The Band has benefited from the instruction of a relatively small and select number of Pipe Majors over the years:

P/M Norman Harper

P/M W.G. (Billy) Miller

P/M Leslie McCourt

P/M Mervyn Mayes

P/M Stephen Moore

P/M Robert Greer

P/M Samuel Simpson

P/M Mervyn Mayes (second term in office)

P/M Richard Newell

P/M Carson Tate


For further information and history, check out the offical Gilnahirk website at gilnahirkpipeband.com

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