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St Andrew's Ball
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Kuwait Caledonians Pipe Band
2007 Band Bytes

A page dedicated to Band activities for 2007 - other than the main events linked above.

Most of these entries were copied from our family journal - and are mostly 1st person (John Weston)



November 23, 2007

St. Andrew's Ball

Once again John and Alice helped out the Kuwait Caledonians committee to put on this year's St. Andrew's Ball.
And Philip contributed by playing with the band.

Again at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Farwaniya. Again... we've built a dedicated web page to the evening's festivities.

The big event for us this year was the presentation John made in front of the 230 guests - to a very surprised Bader.
We had ordered up a set of bagpipes from North Caroline - from the same craftsman that made John's pipes, and presented them to Bader tonight.

A well-deserved bit of recognition from his friends in the Caledonians. Everyone loved it....

Over a hundred photos on the web page. Visit it here.


We built a 2' by 3' poster for Bader that we presented with the new pipes.
We left a gap for a photo of the actual presentation, that was printed and pasted in place (the same photo as above).



Here's what we ordered Bader:

Craftsmen:  MacLellan Bagpipes, custom makers of the highest quality bagpipes & chanters.



 Chalice drone profile. African Blackwood.  ($975 - Not with the silver ferrules, tuning pins and caps in this photo)

Plastic Delrin chanter (Bader prefers plastic to wood for this. He's very hard on his chanter....)



 Solid bronze ferrules with decorative band. With bronze tuning pins and drone caps. ($156 + $130)



 Imitation ivory projecting mounts (no additional charge)


 EZE Drone - synthetic drone reeds ($75)

"Grande" size (as Bader likes to call it) - Bannatyne synthetic zipper bag ($225)

Velvet bag cover and silk cords (like mine - but dark blue - $75)

Shipping to New York ($25)

Price listing:  http://www.highland-pipemaker.com/Price%20list%202007.htm




November 19, 2007

Pipe Practice at Sam & Nanette's Villa

Good friends Sam and Nanette McCulloch - generously offered their villa for the band to do
 their pipe practices before the St. Andrew's Ball performance in a few weeks.
Bader's nasty neighbour keeps threatening him with the police whenever we fire up our pipes in his basement.
An obnoxious Kuwaiti.
So Sam and Nanette came to our rescue - and we need the practice with new piper Andrew joining us.
Philip in one of his only two shirts....


Stuart King and his new pipes. Andrew and Bader - as Bader gets Andrew's old pipes back in working condition.

It is very loud in that villa basement during one of our practices....




October 22, 2007

Bader's Villa - chanter practice session


New piper Andrew Bates is getting up to speed after giving up the pipes for many years. Just like a number of the rest of us. Eugene Kemp is from Victoria - on rotation as a Drilling Engineer seconded to KOC. He's taking his pennywhistle skills and is learning the pipes from Bader. Lyndon doesn't need any help....




September 17, 2007

Bader's Villa - the band says good bye to Keith Armstrong

After nearly 4 years with the band - Keith is leaving Kuwait for an assignment with Halliburton in Muscat - Oman.

Their gain I'm afraid, and our loss.

This is our last band photo together - at Bader's villa on practice night.




May 31, 2007

Kuwait Caledonian's Spring Ceilidh

Our last Caledonian's function of the season was held in the Crowne Plaza this year.
Due to their less restrictive attitude to our cultural liquid "requirements"...

Of course we've built a special web page after the event. Access it here.

As the photos will attest - everyone had a great time. No complaints were heard - just accolades for all the committee's efforts.

John was involved with the band again (of course), took most of the photos, made up the special web page afterwards, did the PowerPoint presentation (playing in the background in this photo), and researched and designed and printed off the handbills, table tags, and table pamphlets.

It's been a busy few days...





May 21, 2007

Practice session - Bader's Villa

More shots of little Patrick Levins learning his chanter at Bader's Villa this Monday evening.

Bader proudly wears a sticker from Patrick on his forehead.




Patrick remains keen on learning the pipes.
His father John (in Rome), is making plans for Patrick to continue his lessons when they move to Rome next month - for good.




April 24, 2007
Queen's Birthday Garden Party, British Embassy

John and Lyndon soloed by the expensive new Rolls, by the flagpole in the Embassy garden while the guests arrived.


John almost stepped on the VIP Kuwaitis as we raced to march them into the garden.
The Minister of Social Affairs and Labour - Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah (one of the Kuwaiti Royal Family).
They were in  a big hurry to leave too - only staying about 10 minutes after the opening speeches.
The paparazzi were like locusts all over the Royals  

Meanwhile, the other band members were left out front of the Embassy to pipe in the late-comers.



Posed with some of the Heroes of the Gulf...



Arab Times Article from Wednesday, April 25



Kuwait Times Article from Wednesday, April 25

My apologies to the other band members that attended this event for being the only one to have his photo featured in either paper.




March 9, 2007
Highland Games

Set at the KOC Rugby Field in Ahmadi - this is the first Highland Games held in 5 years.
The band played at the Opening Ceremonies, at the Grand Bandstand, and later at an Medal Ceremony.

Visit the complete web page for the event here.



February 22, 2007
Prince Charles' and Camilla's Visit to Kuwait, British Embassy, Kuwait
The band was invited to play at a reception during the Royal's 4 day visit to Kuwait, this Wednesday Evening.
We "busked" for about 40 minutes in the garden near the entrance as the guests arrived, from 17:30 to 18:10. Then we walked over to the residence and on the Ambassador's que we started playing and marching as the Royals entered the garden to meet the 600 guests.
Kuwait Caledonians Band representatives - only three were allowed by the Embassy. Bader was busy lecturing tonight.
Keith used Philip Weston's bag for tonight's performance since his replacement bag hadn't yet been delivered.
Lyndon and Anne Baines Keith Armstrong meets former band piper - Phil MacClusky

Prince Charles and entourage being walked around the garden to meet the guests.

Just before he met the band members together - Prince Charles followed by the British Ambassador - Stuart Laing.

This is the best shot we got of the Prince.

I was quite impressed when he met us. He is very soft-spoken, and has huge, calloused hands (not what I expected - but probably from all the gardening he's done and hands he's shaken over the years). Lyndon told him about the band. We introduced ourselves and nations of origin. He even chuckled at our comment that we weren't ready to leave our day jobs for the piping profession.

It was worth the wait to meet him.


We met Camilla about half an hour later, and Mrs. Laing steered her entourage around the gardens.

I didn't see what the fuss was all about when the popular press complains about her looks.


Ambassador's residence in the British Embassy grounds, and the 600 guests.


Lyndon forwarded the following photos on March 14th. Professional photographer's work.

Lyndon speaking with the Prince - next to Keith

Lyndon speaking to the Prince, with Anne Baines next to him, and John in the foreground.


and Mike Ling added these photos on March 19th...

Stuart Laing (Ambassador), Prince Charles, John and Phil MacClusky (former Caledonians piper)

Prince Charles asks Phil MacClusky if he had ever been on the Britannia. Phil and Margaret had - about 10 years ago.
Impressive memory considering how many people he must meet...



November 30, 2006
St. Andrew's Ball, Hilton Resort, Mangaf

We have another full web page dedicated to the Burn's Supper event this year. Everything went off without a hitch - except that Keith's 3 year old synthetic Canmore bag sprung a leak during the practice session, and borrowed Stuart's bag for the Top Table piping. As a result, he wasn't able to join us in the main performance at 21:45.


The local Kuwait Times gave us a full page spread in the paper a few days later.

Right click and save target as" to save the 1 MB jpg scan of the page.

We even made it to the front page header of the paper that day.



Photos posted here are in a 96 dpi format for web space reasons.
for high quality images, e-mail webmaster: John

e-mail: jrwestonnet@Hotmail.com