Glasgow’s first piping Provost
Eva Bolander has become the first piper – and European Union national – to become Lord Provost of Glasgow. Ms Bolander was elected as an SNP councillor for the Anderston/City ward in the 2015 local elections. She held her seat in the recent elections and has now been voted in as Lord Provost. She is also now the city’s first SNP Lord Provost, taking over from take over from Labour’s Sadie Docherty, who stood down before the election.
In her new position, Ms Bolander will also be the Lord Lieutenant of Glasgow which means she is the Queen’s official representative in the city.
Ms Bolander first learned to play the pipes in 1978 with the Thistle Pipe Band in Stockholm but soon changed over to the Stockholm Caledonian Pipe Band who were somewhat more welcoming to female pipers. She said: “There I was tutored by Alan Logan, an ex-Scots Guards piper, who was then permanently living in Stockholm. Another big inspiration and teacher for us Scandinavians was P.M. Bob Kilgour, also ex-Scots Guards, who lived in Copenhagen.
“The Stockholm Caledonian Pipe Band competed in Grade 4 at the World Pipe Band Championships a number of times, and I most clearly remember 1990 when we were also asked to perform in the Winter Gardens of the People’s Palace. This was the Year of Culture. The band did not have any major successes in the competitions in Scotland but for us Swedes it was the experience of just taking part that counted then.”
“My first visit to Scotland was in 1980 when we came across to Glasgow and visited the College of Piping to buy reeds and music. I continued to visit Scotland almost every summer in the early 1980s. One year, possibly 1982, I attended a summer school at Stirling University where, amongst other prominent pipers, Andrew Wright introduced me to pibroch. I’m sorry, to say I never advanced my playing to any prominence, though some of my fellow students certainly did.
“I still enjoy listening to ceol mor and occasionally try to attend the Northern Meeting and Glenfiddich piping competition.”
Ms Bolander is looking forward to attending the World Pipe Band Championships in August.