Pipe Major Jim Sutherland, PPBSO Life Member
Any discussion of the piping scene in Eastern Ontario from the 1950s to the 1980s is impossible without mentioning the enormous contribution of Pipe Major James (Jim) Shannon Sutherland of Kingston’s Rob Roy Pipe Band.
Born 19 February 1927, Jim hailed from Guelph where he took his early piping instruction, receiving his first set of pipes on 07 December 1941. He played with the City of Guelph Pipe Band for a few years, moving on to the University of Toronto Pipe Band while he studied there between 1945 and 1948. In 1953, the No. 11 Medical Corps Pipe Band was established in Kingston. Jim was a founding member, but within a couple of years another band was established by the SD&G Highlanders in Kingston. Jim and several others played in both bands but eventually gravitated to the SD&G band which, despite its title, had a less military quality to it. By 1957, the band determined to become entirely independent and self-sufficient, and the Rob Roy Highland Pipe Band was born.
Updated from an Ottawa Branch newsletter originally published March 2010, contributed by Peter Barbier.