THE name of Lanark will be to the fore in the USA’s biggest annual celebration of its Scottish connections next year.
In what has been described as “an enormous honour”, Lanark & District Pipe Band has been invited to lead April’s Tartan Day Parade in New York.
Now a major fundraising effort is underway to allow the band to head across the Atlantic to take up the invite to travel to The Big Apple to represent Lanark on a truly international stage.
Some members have already shown huge personal commitment to the trip by digging deep into their own pockets and life savings to pay for their own flight tickets and accommodation.
But band committee member John Dickman this week called for all to rally to the fundraising campaign to ease the financial burden on the pipers and drummers.
He said: “Let’s face it; you couldn’t BUY publicity for Lanark like this, especially in a place like New York. It’s the biggest Scottish celebration held in the States and we’ll be very proud to be playing a part in it.
“We hope a large contingent of the band will be able to fly out to take part. It will be an enormous honour.”
Tongue now firmly in cheek, John added: “Of course, it’s not quite as good as coming down Lanark High Street on Lanimer Day! But it will be the band’s first-ever trip to the States so everyone’s really excited.”
The fundraising got underway on Saturday with a hugely successful joint concert at Lanark Memorial Hall with the band’s traditional programme being augmented by far more modern Scottish music from the band Bags of Rock; around 320 people attended the concert and the total raised will be announced soon.
The next fundraiser is this Sunday, November 2, when the band host a Sportsman’s Brunch at Lanark’s Stanmore House School from 1pm to 5pm.
It will feature top clubland comic Mike Phew and very special guest, legendary Chelsea player of the 1960s and 70s Ronnie Harris.
Nicknamed ‘Chopper’, he was one of the most feared players of his time in English football and is understood to have become the youngest-ever captain of Chelsea FC.
The event on Sunday is to be chaired by a certain Gazette reporter with a very similar name to the football star’s.
Some tickets are still available via any band member or from John Dickman on 07834 825805. More events are planned for the near future.