History Series: 2021 marked the 16th anniversary of the untimely passing of an Ottawa piping legend, Pipe Major Pat Hayes of the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band. Many across Canada and the U.S. still speak of his leadership in pipe bands.
Patrick Hayes was born on 9 June 1950 in Low, Quebec. Music was always a vibrant part of his upbringing, with much influence coming from his father, Vince Hayes, who was an active fiddler and singer.
In early 1969 Pat joined the Ottawa Police Service as a police cadet, eventually rising to the rank of Superintendent. Soon after joining, he saw the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band on parade, which had been created that same year. Pat had never picked up a chanter before but was immediately interested in joining the band, approaching Charlie Bell for instruction, and not long after began participating in shows and parades.
In 1982, Pat was appointed Pipe Major of the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band. At that time, he was focused on developing the membership of the band. With the assistance of Drum Sergeant Dave Grant Senior, Pat began to set the foundation for the continued musical development of the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band. Under Pat’s guidance, the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band developed a very active community role, which included parades, performances, tattoos and competitions.
While still an active Superintendent with the Ottawa Police Service and Pipe Major of the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band, Pat passed away suddenly on 18 September 2005.
Pat’s memory and legacy lives on in the pipe band community, and through those for whom he had such a significant influence, including his son Andrew, who has achieved great success as winner of the Gold Medals at Inverness and Oban in 2010 and 2019 respectively.