The 25th Pipe Major Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition was held in Stornoway last Friday (April 6) and hailed a great success.
It was particularly successful for piper Angus MacColl, who was crowned the overall winner of the competition, having come first in two out of three sections: Piobaireachd and also March, Strathspey and Reel. Craig Sutherland won the Hornpipe and Jig category.
Pipe Major Iain Murdo Morrison, who organises the competition, said Angus MacColl “really was playing well” – and that it had been “an absolutely brilliant” day.
He also expressed his joy at being able to enjoy this prestigious piping competition – set up to honour the memory of one of Stornoway’s most famous sons – in its home town, thanks to the lifeline funding from wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust.
Point and Sandwick, which runs the community-owned turbines at Beinn Ghrideag, has pledged £5,000 to the competition every year for five years.
The money means that organisers Lewis and Harris Piping Society can continue to stage the competition in Stornoway instead of having to move it to the mainland to save costs.
Iain Murdo Morrison, who was once a pupil of P/M MacLeod, said everyone in the Piping Society felt “very fortunate” to have secured the help of Point and Sandwick Trust for the next four years, in order to keep the competition “where it should be rightly held”.
Describing this year’s event, he said: “It was absolutely brilliant. It was one of the best competitions we’ve had for a long, long time. All the pipers had done their homework.
“It was really a great day’s piping, absolutely wonderful and everybody says that.”
He said the atmosphere was “electric, as usual” but added that it was “very homely” too. It’s not like going to the Northern Meetings. It’s like a family thing, really.”
One particularly distinguished guest at the competition this year was Rod Macleod, from Calgary. Rod – who is pictured (left in the picture) with winner Angus MacColl and Kenny Dan Macdonald, one of the directors of Point and Sandwick Trust – has donated ‘memorial medals’ to the competition.
The medals are given to the winners of each category and Iain Murdo Morrison said they had enough medals now to last the competition until 2050.