City of Newcastle RSL Pipe Band

Band History: Part 1/2

As indicated on the Home Page, The City of Newcastle RSL Pipe Band was formed in 1924 under the name of The Newcastle Pipe Band Association. In 1929 the Band was renamed the Newcastle City Pipe Band. It is therefore, the oldest Pipe Band in Newcastle, NSW Australia.

In those early days, the band was maintained by public subscriptions and members' band fees and from Scotland they purchased reject Gordon Tartan Kilts and White Buff Coats, both of which were extremely heavy.

One of the band's earliest functions was at a "fun fair" in the City, every night except Sunday - for an amount of Two Pounds Two Shillings (A) per night. The Band also played in the Newcastle Suburb of Hamilton where the various shops donated contributions ranging from one shilling to four shillings (A) per week.

The Band came through the Depression years and the Second World War quite well, notwithstanding that on many, many occasions, times were very hard. When Newcastle, NSW, Australia gained City status, so too did the Band and it changed its name to The City of Newcastle Pipe Band. On 30th June 1969, the Band affiliated with the City of Newcastle RSL Club and then became known as The City of Newcastle RSL Pipe Band, where, since that time, Anzac Day continues to be one of the Band's most important days.

Hardship was experienced following the Newcastle Earthquake in 1989, when the Newcastle RSL Club was destroyed and it was necessary to replace many items of uniforms and equipment due to loss. To this end, the Band was indebted to the Lord Mayor's Earthquake Appeal Committee.

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The City of Newcastle RSL Pipe Band at Fort Scratchley
The City of Newcastle RSL Pipe Band at Fort Scratchley.