Pipe bands succeed despite terror threat

September 08, 2006, volume 37, no. 1
By Carol Thorbes

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A terrorism scare that temporarily saw the senior Simon Fraser University pipe band's drums go missing hasn't spoiled its success or a feeder band's victory at the 2006 world pipe band championships.

The Robert Malcolm Memorial Grade 2 pipe band took first place in the August competition in Glasgow, Scotland, while the famed senior pipe band came second in the Grade 1 competition.

Two days before the world championships, a plot to bomb planes at Heathrow airport in London, England, sparked a security lockdown. It became a travellers' nightmare that left members of the senior band hunting for all 13 of their drums, two sets of bagpipes and numerous bags on their return trip. The items were among 10,000 pieces of missing luggage at Heathrow.

Rob MacNeil, one of the senior pipe band's managers, credits the British Consulate and the band's travel agent with helping band members recover everything except for one snare drum.

MacNeil, who is responsible for the missing drum, says the band has filed a claim against British Airways for its replacement. Part of a matched set of 10 drums, the missing one and its case are worth more than $1,200.

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