20th Anniversary Celebration - Maybole Pipe & Urmitz, Germany
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Recently, 17 visitors from Urmitz, Germany, arrived in Maybole to celebrate 20 years of friendship with Maybole Pipe Band. Urmitz is some five miles downstream, on the banks of the River Rhine, from the German city of Koblenz. Band members travel to Urmitz each year where they are invited to perform in carnival parades during the “Rosemontag” festival. The band has performed in these carnivals every year since 1994 and made great friendships with the town and its people with whom they are invited to stay. As well as Urmitz, band members have played in parades in more than six other neighbouring towns in the Rhine area.

In February this year, in Urmitz Town Hall, a mounted crest was presented from Maybole Pipe Band to the town of Urmitz, to mark the anniversary of the20 year friendship. Among the German visitors who arrived in Maybole for the weekend’s planned celebration, was Mayor Norbert Bahl who was accompanied by his family and guests such as Eddie Nocker and Andrea Feix who are well known to the band.

Also included in the guest list was former Mayor of the town Manfred Kuhn, who was in office when the pipe band travelled to Urmitz back in 1994 for the first time. While here, the visitors enjoyed a tour of the local area including Culzean, a pub or two, and a whisky tasting afternoon in Kirkoswald where band members had the opportunity to repay the visitors for all their hospitality over the years. It was a chance for the band to host their visitors and show off the local area.

A party was planned for the Saturday evening in the Carrick Centre, Maybole, where 100 guests of the band gathered and enjoyed a meal followed by some Scottish entertainment such as Highland dancing, music from Davie Anderson, Scottish songs and poems from Jim Stevens and of course the highlight Maybole Pipe Band.

Later in the evening, the pipe band was proud to present a canvas picture and voucher to drummer Walter Gill to mark his 50 plus years of service to Maybole Pipe band. Pipe Major Gavin Nicol and Drum Sergeant Robbie Kidd made the presentation, and thanked Walter for his service and commitment to the Band. Walter’s speech told of how, over 40 years ago, he was introduced to Robbie Kidd and asked to teach him as a young drummer. As well as enjoying the Scottish entertainment there was plenty of catching up with new and old guests chatting about photos which decorated the hall, all from the 20 years of travelling to Urmitz.

On Sunday there was a trip to Girvan for the Lowland Gathering to watch the pipe bands and events there. Most of the visitors travelled home on the Monday although some even took the chance of a longer holiday further north in Scotland. The Pipe Band would like to thank all who helped with this occasion which marked a major historic achievement for the band and its members to be very proud of.