Life memberships for duo

Jim Wigley (left) and Dick Baer with their Life Membership medals presented by the Scottish Brass Band Association.
Jim Wigley (left) and Dick Baer with their Life Membership medals presented by the Scottish Brass Band Association.

OVER 100 years of service to Forfar Instrumental Band has been recognised with the presentation of two Life Membership medals by the Scottish Brass Band Association.

At a function on Saturday evening at the Strathmore Cricket Club, senior band members James (Jim) Wigley and Richard (Dick) Baer were formally presented with their medals during the band’s annual concert.

Both started out as learners with the band in the late 1950s and by 1962 had started to be noticed in club records.

Both have played at major contests, gigs in various parks and other events and have also served on the committee.

Jim took on the duties of treasurer in 1980, a role he still holds, and also serves as librarian.

Dick was elected to the chair in 1999 and has guided the committee through several changes, improvements and crises.

Secretary Bruce Dorward told the Dispatch and Herald: “When Forfar Instrumental Band plays in public we usually get a few comments from members of the audience along the lines of “it’s so nice to see so many young people taking part”.

“But let us not forget the senior players.

“After a practice night a few months ago someone observed that about a quarter of the band were members of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

“As the age analysis continued it was discovered that a sixth of the players were pensioners and, stretching the age bracket slightly, about a quarter were entitled to a bus pass!”

He revealed Forfar Instrumental Band has had its share of members receiving the SBBA’s Life Membership medal, starting with the band’s founding president, John Killacky JP, and the second bandmaster, Robert Anderson, who had been a leading player and deputy bandmaster prior to that. A name that will be more familiar to Forfarians, the late W. C. Cook, was also a life member.

Bruce continued: “It has been a long time since a Forfar player qualified for this award. We are doubly pleased that two of our senior players, Richard Baer and James Wigley, are now SBBA life members,

“Members of the band and our many supporters congratulate Dick and Jim on their achievement and hope that they will continue in their administrative and musical roles with us for many years to come.”