R U Brown Piobaireachd Society of South Australia Inc.
About the Society
The R U Brown Piobaireachd Society of South Australia Inc. was formed to honour the memory of the late Pipe Major Robert Urquhart Brown MBE of Balmoral, Scotland who visited Australia in 1972.
Bob Brown was employed as a piper and ghillie at the Balmoral Estate. In 1928, he was sent to John MacDonald MBE of Inverness for lessons. Bob Nicol was also a pupil at that time, and their lessons continued until 1939. During the war years, Bob Brown was Pipe Major of the 5th/7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders.
Known for his fluidity of style, Bob Brown won the Gold Medal for Piobaireachd at the Northern Meeting, Inverness in 1928 and at the Argyllshire Gathering, Oban in 1931.
On his way to Australia, Bob unfortunately suffered from thrombosis in the leg and this proved to be troublesome. Initially, he seemed to respond to medical treatment. However, after judging in Hobart, Tasmania at the Australian Championships, he was forced to abandon his tour and return to Scotland where he died a few days after arriving at his home.
The Society now meets on a monthly basis to promote piping and to share the knowledge and enjoyment of the instrument, as suggested by Bob Brown. A number of competitions are conducted each year, with the biggest of these being the Gold Medal Competition held in May in Bob Brown's honour. This has become one of the most respected competitions in the Southern Hemisphere.