Duncan Fisher was well-known in Saskatchewan both for his sports and piping excellence, and he died this past weekend, a few weeks past his 90th birthday.
Fisher was born in Regina and grew up in local pipe bands, playing with the Regina Signals, the 10th Field Regiment and latterly the WaWa Shrine Pipes & Drums. Fisher was a keen piper, and acted as tutor, mentor and organizer. He taught young pipers at the Fraser Pipe Band, and many adults as part of the 10th Field and Shrine bands.
He was the pipe major of the Shrine pipe band in Regina for 20 years, and he built the Shrine Pipe Band into the best unit of its kind in North America, winning the Imperial Championship [the North American championship for Shrine pipe bands] on two occasions, and winning the Midwest Championships [Canada and USA] 17 times, including one string of eight years in a row.
During his years with the Shrine, Fisher helped organize the Regina Highland Games, and used his influence in the community to build the event over several of years.
Fisher played a key role bringing together the University of Regina and the City of Regina Pipe Band to create The Conservatory of Performing Arts Pipe Band, which brought City of Regina’s junior pipe band into the Conservatory program.
Although he was not actively playing pipes in the last couple of years, he enjoyed tunes on the chanter until quite recently, and was often in attendance at piping events in the city.
Well-known also for his sports career, Fisher was inducted to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 as a hockey player, having been a player for the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins, The Detroit Red Wings and the Hershey Bears. He remains the all-time leading scorer for the Hershey Bears. He held the AHL record for most game-winning goals in a season for 50 years until 2004.
On August 9, 2016, at the age of 88 years, George died peacefully at Cottonwoods Care Home, in Kelowna, BC. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Eileen; sons Ian and Dale; and 5 grandchildren.
George was born and raised in Regina, SK, where he married and raised a family. George had a long and distinguished career at the Regina Leader-Post, before settling in Kelowna, for a well-deserved retirement.
George was a member of many business and community groups: the Masonic Lodge, Shriners, sons of Scotland, the Better Business Bureau, and more, but he will best be remembered for his love and passion, the bagpipes. George was a pipe-major, band member, teacher, and mentor to others in the art of piping. For many years George was pipe-major of the Regina 10th Field Regiment Pipe Band. The band had successful tours of the USA and Europe, and even had a record made. He later helped found the Regina Police Pipe Band, as well as being a member of the Shrine Band. He was also a member of the Kelowna Pipe Band. Any opportunity would have him bringing out the pipes, for everyone to hear.
George loved pipes, piping and bands, and was involved his whole life in pipe bands in Regina, and later Kelowna. He taught at the Regina Boys' Pipe Band (later Fraser Pipe Band) in Regina, taught many new pipers at the Regina Police Servioce Pipe Band in the early days, and he was responsible for organizing many civic functions with pipe bands and massed bands. More to come.
Bill was born March 10, 1910 and came as a boy to Canada from Arbroath, Scotland, and lived in Kelvington. He served in The South Saskatchewan Regiment in World War Two, but was transferred to The Cameron Highlanders of Canada after Pipe Major Bill (Willie, Saskatchewan) MacLeod heard him playing the pipes. After the war Bill settled in Moose Jaw and was the main piping instructor for the St. Andrews Society Boys Pipe Band which was started in 1947. An excellent and popular teacher.He died December 27, 1993.
A second brother, Andrew Storrier Shepherd (Dec. 27, 1913 - Feb. 14, 1986) was also a piper, and playing in the St. Andrew's Pipe Band.
[Information and photos from family web site.]
William MacDonald was born April 26, 1891 in Rossal, Rogart, Sutherland, Scotland. He attended Balvraid School where he appeared in an 1898 Class photo.
His parents were Neil MacDonald (18?? - 1903 est) a quarrier of Pittentrail, Rogart and Christina Sutherland (1872 - 1950) of Torboll, Dornoch. They were married January 24, 1890 at West Church Manse, Inverness.
Willie MacDonald moved his young family to the Yellowgrass area, and farmed near Weyburn for many years. He was a part of the Weyburn Pipe Band, and his son Bill MacDonald also played the pipes.
[More to come]