You will have heard by now that Gwen MacPherson, Donald’s widow, passed away early on Wednesday morning as a result of a chest infection and pulmonary fibrosis. I am sure you will all join me in offering condolences to the family. Gwen and Donald were married for 65 years. Donald died in 2012.
Gwen, together with daughters, Katrina and Fiona, attended the Piobaireachd Society conference earlier this year to hear John Shone deliver a paper on Donald. Iain Speirs musically illustrated John’s talk magnificently.
The family had been working on a collection of Donald’s compositions and tell me that they hope to have it ready by the spring. It is a real shame that Gwen will now not see the book.
My blog last week castigated Bournemouth Council for using pipe music to stop homeless people sleeping in the town’s bus station. It’s good to hear that a petition has attracted almost 4,000 signatures calling for the caring south of England council to desist. Carla Johnson was born in the town and launched the petition. She said: “At a time of year when the weather is becoming increasingly cold and wet Bournemouth council should be finding a solution to help the homeless in our town, not to drive them away. Playing loud music at the interchange is in no way a solution as it will simply move the homeless people on to another area in the town … “these people need our support, and not to be treated like wild animals, driven out of one area to the next.”
Also, on the subject of the SPSL I see it is hosting a Strictly Come Piping event tomorrow night in London. The mind boggles.
On the subject of the big music, ’Tis the season to play pibroch, che re de en tro, a hin bo tro!
Last Saturday, pipers all over the world played Amazing Grace at 15:00 GMT. Pietro Malaguti’s Facebook page, Bagpipes for Peace, called on the global piping community to play to play the tune in a musical gesture of peace as a result of the recent Paris atrocity. He didn’t quite get the 3,000 he was hoping for but Pietro is now asking those who took part to send him their video and photos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pietro is Italian but lives in Co. Donegal. He is the man who translated the College of Piping Tutor 1 into Italian.