Pipes and Drums: Brian's richly deserved piping award
ABOVE: BRIAN SYMINGTON ('66) AND HIS WIFE LAURINE ADMIRE BRIAN'S SIR RUPERT HAMER AWARD.
There was a resounding cheer from the Scotch piping fraternity old and young at this year’s Ringwood Highland Games, when Pipe Major Brian Symington ('66) of the Old Scotch Pipes and Drums Club received the 2014 Sir Rupert Hamer Award.
Brian received his Hamer award for his lifetime of promoting Scottish heritage and cultural traditions through pipe bands and piping. The award is presented annually by the Victorian Highland Pipe Bands Association, in honour of its inaugural chieftain Sir Rupert Hamer AC KCMG ED. It is the highest individual honour the association awards, apart from life membership.
Brian learned his piping at Scotch from then piping tutor Bill Brown, and became pipe major of the School pipe band in 1965 and 1966, before joining the Nunawading Highland Pipe Band.
At Nunawading, Brian again became pipe major, shepherding that band through the grades to become an Australian grade one band, which later (after Brian had left the band) evolved into the renowned Australia Highlanders.
As he moved around the country during his career, Brian always managed to find a pipe band to help along, including the Morwell Pipe Band, the North Queensland Scots and the Townsville RSL.
Over the years Brian has also taught many young pipers, and has produced some fine players including world-class pipers such as Scotch's current Teacher-in-Charge of Pipes and Drums, Mark Saul.
Brian not only nurtures the Old Boys' band; he is still assisting Mark to tutor Scotch pipers, and unfailingly supports both Scotch and the City of Hawthorn at every band competition throughout the solo piping season.
STEWART WALLACE ('77) – OLD SCOTCH PIPES AND DRUMS