Jack's Last Set
At the age of 10, Jeff was a budding piper in 1998, having started out with the Braemar Pipe Band under the tuition of Jim Beattie with his Dunbar P3 bagpipes. By the year 2000, it became quite apparent that Jeff had the talent and commitment to be a succesful piper and began taking lessons from Jim Caddis (former P/M Niagara Regional Police PB).
Although Jack was long "semi-retired", he insisted on doing all the finishing work on Jeff's new pipes. Perhaps he somehow knew that this would be the last set of pipes he would have a direct hand in making. Certainly they would be his special gift to his grandson. Jack spent many days making the bagpipe ready to receive hand-turned imitation ivory projecting mounts and zoomorphic silver by The Bagpipe Silver Company. They were completed only days before Christmas and were presented to Jeff on Christmas morning. Jack was beaming with pride for both this bagpipe and his grandson.
Jeff played within the Braemar organization for many years until its demise in 2006, including being P/M of their G5 band, The Jack Dunbar Memorial Pipe Band and also playing in their G2 band. During his time with Braemar he was taught by the late Lindsay Kirkwood and then The Captain, Ken Eller. He is now a piper with the Peel Regional Police Pipe Band, having made the jump to Grade 1 in 2006, at the age of 18.
Even though Jack is no longer with us, we believe every time Jeff fires up his pipes, he is listening and making sure everything is still "just right" with them. Jeff becoming a succesfull piper would have meant more to Jack than anything else in the world, including the legacy of this business he started.
As a side note, Jack's granddaughter Brittney Pettigrew also played in The Jack Dunbar Memorial Pipe band as a tenor drummer, wearing Jack's Dunbar tartan kilt.
Jeff is now taking a hiatus from competition pipng as he is currently over in Afghanistan as a member of the Canadian military. Jeff, we are very proud of you, love you very much & miss you greatly!!!!! Please stay safe.
Obviously, Jeff did not want to take his Blackwood pipes over to that type of extreme climate so we have properly stored them until he gets back. He has taken a set of P3s over with him so if you happen to be at the KAF & hear a piper, take a walk over & it may be Jeff playing. If so, please say hi for us!!!!
Fortunately, Jeff has made it back home safely from his tour of duty in Afghanistan.
His P3 bagpipes survived without any issues and he is now back on to the set of blackwood pipes that his Grandfather made for him.