The University of Queensland Pipe Band at Emmanuel College are happy to be able to donate two sets of bagpipes and two snare drums to the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment (RPIR) Pipe Band in Papua New Guinea. The band for ex-servicemen is performing in the 2015 Pacific Games, currently underway in Port Moresby.
Our connection to PNG goes back to when Pipe Major Andrew McCabe played with the 8/9 RAR Pipes and Drums along with the RPIR Pipe Band at the Bicentennial Military Tattoo in 1988, as well as close associations through The Scots PGC College Warwick where Andrew was past Bandmaster.
The donation has been supported by Abt JTA / Abt Associates (an international health and social consulting company) who have been assisting retired military officer Dr Jethro Usurup in establishing a PNG Defence Force organisation for retirees and veterans equal to the RSL of Australia. The concept of regrouping the RPIR Pipe Band was first proposed by Dr Usurup’s daughter Esther Usurup Harou (School Captain) and Adam Walker (Pipe Major), old class mates from Scots PGC College which directly led to this donation by the band at Emmanuel College.
Papua New Guinea and Australia have a very long joint military history going back to World War II, the formation of forbearers to the modern PNG Defence Force and of course the role of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.
On arrival in PNG it is planned that the instruments will be presented by Geoff Scahill, General Manager Abt JTA for PNG to the Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo CBE, Commander PNG Defence Force.