Piper Ewan Hamilton
I was born and lived in Drummond Street Comrie where I grew up for the first part of my life. I first started to learn to play the chanter at the age of about 12 years of age with PM Mathieson who was manager of McEwans’s grocery store now the charity shop. After 6 months I had too many activities, football, rugby, golf etc something had to give. A decision was made and my mum made me go and tell him myself. I knew when I told him and turned away it was a bad decision and I would regret it, but I couldn’t undo what I had done. I left the village at 22 to seek my fortune in Aberdeen in the oil industry.
At approx 30 I attended Aberdeen college for a term to pick the chanter up again but as I was away working half the time it didn’t work out. At 50 I decided to find a tutor and was introduced to Ex PM of the Grampian Police and started again. Progressed well and he got me onto the pipes to play a few tunes. Unfortunately he fell terminally very quickly and we lost him in a short space of time. I was devastated for him and his wife and it knocked me an I put the chanter and pipes away.
I was visiting the village several years ago and bumped into PM Willie Nicol and I promised that if I ever returned to the village that I would pick up the chanter again. An opportunity arose for me to return and true to my word I came along and joined the Comrie Pipe Band. After doing nothing for a long time I was very rusty and had a lot to learn and still am. However, step by step progress is happening and I was delighted to be asked through to the main practice hall to join the band playing a few tunes.
I honestly didn’t know the effort required to learn the chanter and the tunes that the band play, not withstanding marching in time as well. Still got loads to learn but getting there slowly but surely with assistance of fellow band members. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to march down the street where I grew up and if that day happens I will be very proud.