Durban Regiment

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Band History

Durban Regiment Pipe Band traces its roots back to the late 1950’s, where it was initially formed as the Montclair Pipe Band, under the leadership of Hugh McKenna, Cyril MacRae, Pipe Major Doug Watts and Drum Sergeant Barry Whyte. The band met at the “Tray Bang Shell Hole” in Montclair for practices.

 






Photo of Montclair Pipe Band , mid 1960’s

During 1975, the band became affiliated to Durban Regiment, and the band room was moved to the Regiments Headquarters at Natal Command.







Photo of Durban Regiment Pipe Band , early 1970’s

The band continued under the leadership of Pipe Major Doug Watts until the early 1980, when the role of Pipe Major passed to Captain Ken Mustard. The band grew to become a respected competition pipe band under Kens leadership,

Photo of Durban Regiment Pipe Band, 1993

During the mid to late 1990’s, the band started to struggle (along with the other South African pipe bands), as devastating numbers of bandsmen emigrated to other countries. The band members turned this difficult period into an era of opportunity, signing up with Delville / SA Scots Pipe Band in Gauteng to take part in 3 overseas tours between 2000 and 2004, In so doing, the competing band members competed in Grade 3A at the Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon, and at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow.    

Band Members with the SA Scots Pipe Band en route to Cowal Highland Gathering (Loch Lomond in the Background) - 2004

In 2005, the band members turned their focus closer to home, combining forces with the Pietermaritzburg Caledonian Society Pipe Band to work on improving the competition standard in KZN, and rebuilding the local bands. By 2011, the Natal Mounted Rifles Pipe Band had joined the initiative, and the 3 bands competed together under the banner “KZN Pipes and Drums” until 2014. The project was a success, and by 2015 the 3 member bands were once again competing and operating independently under their own respective banners.

Durban Regiment Pipe Band at SCHG, 2017

Durban Regiment Pipe Band is currently one of the leading pipe bands in KZN, and with a healthy wave of new recruits filtering through, the future looks bright.     

Refer to our Gallery Archive Page to download a complete Pictorial History of  Durban Regiment Pipe Band prepared by Pipe Major Ken Mustard