Who are we?
The 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) Pipe Band is a non-profit, charitable organization whose members perform and instruct the musical arts of the Highland bagpipe, snare drum and other related instruments. The band has been in existence, under different names, since the 1930s and currently has approximately 60 pipers and drummers playing at the Grade 5, Grade 3 and Grade 1 level.
History and Culture
In the 1930’s, the Halifax Police Department sponsored a Fife and Drum Band which took part in local festivals and parades. That band was dissolved after the Second World War started, with some of its previous members taking a teaching role with the Queen Elizabeth High School Army Cadet Corps Pipe Band which was prominent in Halifax in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. When the school disbanded the Cadet Corps in the mid 1960’s, the members of the pipe band went out on their own forming a civilian pipe band under the direction of Pipe Major Doug Dewis called the Lovett Scots. This band lasted 2 seasons and gradually morphed into the Wylde Thyme Pipe Band. This band lasted as a parade band from 1968 until 1983 when it had finally run its course.
In 1983 the band aligned itself with the Halifax Police Department, taking on the sponsorship of the Halifax Police Association (HPA). The Police Chief at the time was labouring under an uncertain climate due to a recent police strike. He was anxious to have an organization aligned with the department which all members of the department could look at with a degree of pride. Under the direction of Pipe Major Wayne Moug, it started competing at the Grade 3 level and has been perennial Champion Supreme in Atlantic Canada at the Grade 3, then 2 then grade 1 level ever since.
During the years the band steadily improved under Pipe Majors Doug Boyd, John Walsh, Jack Maclean and Roderick Maclean to the point where in 1991 they were promoted to Grade 1. They stayed as the Police Pipe Band until 2001 when the Police Department, which had assumed their sponsorship from the HPA in the mid 1990’s released them due to budgetary constraints.
One week later in June 2001 the band rebadged as the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) Pipes and Drums, continuing to climb in the international rankings, and maintaining a grade 1 standard of play. It is appropriate that the band now makes its home at the Halifax Citadel with its Regimental Band, Infantry and Detachment of Royal Artillery, all recreating a historical presentation of the “way things were” between 1869-1871, when the British Army’s 78th Highlanders (Ross Shire Buffs) actually garrisoned Citadel Hill. Today’s modern pipe band is an extension of the excellence portrayed at Citadel Hill daily, during the summer season.