History Series: Starting pipe lessons at just six years old, Michael “Scotty” Durant first took his training from Andy Scott in August of 1962. Later that same year, he also began lessons from Pipe Major Sam Scott and continued to take lessons from him until Sam passed away in 1971. Michael had the honour of receiving P/M Sam Scott’s bagpipes that were played on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day 1944, and still plays them to this day. In 1976 he came back to Canada after serving with the 82nd Airborne in the United States. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces and quickly got the nickname “Scotty” because he would pipe his platoon everywhere on base.
In September 1989 he was posted to CFB Petawawa to become Pipe Major of the Special Service Force Pipe Band. The band under his leadership became North American Champions for Grade 4 in 1990 and 1991. In 1992 this band had the distinct privilege of being the first pipe band to parade at St. Peter’s in the Vatican. Because of this, Scotty had the incredible privilege of meeting Pope John Paul II.
Today Scotty has taken a quieter role in the community. He still plays for wakes and weddings he also still helps teach with the Kemptville Legion Pipes and Drums and the Almonte Legion Pipe Band as much as he can.