On 10 September 1946, Mr Fotheringham, Mayor of Johannesburg and member of the Governing Body, announced to the school Governing Body that he was prepared to present the school cadet corps with the equipment necessary to form a Pipe Band. He asked for the Governing Body’s approval for his proposal.
The Fotheringham family were as Scottish as haggis and Mr Fotheringham naturally thought that the bagpipes would sound better than bugles. But not all the governors agreed.
E.C. Nelson, the secretary, reported the discussion rather cannily in these words: ” … This suggestion met with a mixed reception, but, as most members lived at some distance from the school, the headmaster was asked to report on the matter at the next meeting ..”
This must have been one of the very first decisions Mr Nitch, the new Headmaster, was required to make. He said “Yes” and in due course the school acquired its Pipe Band and the skirl of the pipes was heard on the heights of Houghton Ridge. Not all the Sassenachs who lived in the neighbourhood approved of the strange noises they now began to hear but they grew accustomed to them as the years went by.
Mr Fotheringham’s gift to the school was a generous one. He gave twelve sets of pipes, kilts, head-dress and sporrans for a band of twenty-four – and a very smart turn-out it was. The Transvaal Scottish helped in every possible way by lending the services of Pipe-Major Ackroyd and giving the members of the band permission to wear the tartans of the regiment – Tullibardine for the pipers and Atholl Murray for the drummers.
It takes three years to train a school piper in the time available so it was not until 25 March 1950, that the Pipe Band made its first public appearance. There were deafening cheers as it marched and counter-marched on sports day, with Drum-Major P.J. Scott at its head.
Mr J. S. Fotheringham has gone down as the founder of the Pipe Band.
There was a patch in the 50’s where there was talk of disbanding the Band. The then school Pipe Major John Farmer took it upon himself to ensure that this never happened.
The early sixties heralded a dedicated Piping Instructor, Sandy Mallen. Sandy Mallen coached the Pipers for a mammoth seventeen years, leading the Band through both weak and achieving years.
Sandy Mallen was succeeded by Pipe Major Christopher Mulinder in 1975 the then acting Transvaal Scottish Pipe Major. The Band continued to be successful in both competition and parade work and has done so to the present day.
The Band has had many successes as a Band and also on the Solo circuit. K.E.S. has been instrumental in promoting the playing of Piobaireachd which is the classical form of Highland Bagpipe music.Most notably,former Pipe Major Craig Sked, a member of Scottish Power Pipe Band,wins the prestigious Oban Silver Medal in Scotland & former Leading Drummer Callaghn Soligram playing for the World Championship winning Pipe band Benoni Mac-Talla in 2009.
The Band can be proud of its Solo achievements as the Band has produced Pipers who now live in the U.K. and who are competing on the International circuit.
Today, the Pipe Band still endures through the hard work & dedication of many tutors who have given up a large portion of their time to ensure that not only the school has a pipe band but also that the band is very competitive on the competition field. The band’s tutors are drawn from pipe bands with just as an illustrious history as the King Edward VII Pipe Band. These include the South African Irish Pipes and Drums,Transvaal Scottish,Richmond Avenue and Benoni Mac-Talla.
The highlight of the Band’s school calendar is the Armistice Parade in November which is often the First Parade for the newcomers entering into the Band. This is always an impressive affair featuring the haunting lament played by the Pipe Major.
Llewelyn Cotty – Lance Corporal
Masigitha Mkhawane – Sargent – Lead Drummer
Zipho Oliphant – Corporal – Leading Tip
Taigue Mitchell – Sargent
Marc Durandt – Lance Corporal
Liam Howes – Lance Corporal
Wanda Morapeng – Lance Corporal
PIPE BAND VIDEO
King Edward Pipe Band at the Annual Jeppe Gathering
KES Pipe Band 2nd at SA Championships!30 July 2018
Red Pipe Band: Results SA Championships King Edward Pipe Band finished 2nd overall at the SA Champs held at Benoni High School, held on Saturday 28 July. Our bass section came 1 st...
KES Pipe Band remember the fallen at Delville Wood Memorial Parade25 July 2018
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