|Posted by Band Secretary on January 20, 2018 at 2:55 AM||comments (2)|
On December 1st, 2017, the band lost one of its first, and most loyal servants. He died, peacefully, at home in New Town, Edinburgh.
Fergus Cameron had been the Band Sergeant Major of the 51st Highland Volunteers in Perth (Formerly 4/5th Black Watch). His Father was the Headmaster at Friar Street Primary School in Perth. He left the TA in 1989 after serving for 30 years. He survived several Kneller Hall inspections and capably steered the band to greater things before leaving the TA in 1989.
Fergus was one of the first members of the Central Band, and took part in the very first public concert of the band at Bathgate Royal British Legion Scotland club in December 1993. He was a very efficient BSM and never very far from the Director's side through all of the initial dealings with the RBLS.
Fergus was a Lawyer. In fact, a Writer to the Signet. After working in Banking practice, he retrained as a Solicitor at Strathclyde University's Law School. He settled into Conveyancing work, and ended his career as a senior solicitor with Leslie Deans + Co in Edinburgh. There must be many people in Edinburgh and beyond who are very grateful to Fergus for his keen eye and punctual attention during house transactions, which, with Scottish properties and the Register of Sasines, could be entertaining if not difficult with some of the very complex rights of way etc that exist with old properties.
Fergus was part of the Central Band committee when the band first started, and was responsible for steering the band through the legal aspects of protecting our name in a patent, and for writing a constitution for the band that resulted in our establishment as an independant unincorporated association free from the interference of incompetent, feckless fools. This smart move was to save the band at a later stage in our existence.
He helped engineer the delivery of a 1999 Scottish Arts Council "Awards for All" Lottery Grant (the biggest of its kind ever awarded to an amateur musical group) dealing with the National Audit Office for us. The band, to this day, still use these instruments that he helped procure.
He helped form the RBLS Big Band in 2000 which later became one of Ednburgh's most successful dance bands called "Sounds of Seventeen" which took part for example, in the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Fergus took part in all of the band's activities, and in the many overseas trips we did over the years. He was always there to offer advice when needed and will be remembered by all as an uncomplicated facilitator of all things that a band needs to do to put on a performance.
He retired from the Central Band in 2011, but continued to play in the jazz circuit for some time thereafter.
For many of us, our abiding memory of him was playing the Last Post and Reveille at the Menin Gate at Ypres in September, 2004 when the band toured Belgium as part of a musical support for the British Embassy. Precise, note perfect, and executed with all the style and presence one would expect from a BSM of longstanding experience. A highly unusual honour, given that the buglers of the Ypres Fire Brigade deferred this duty to him-they having done this task continuously every evening since 1926. An honour indeed.
We extend our sympathies to Rhona his wife, his brother Ewan and his son, Daniel.
|Posted by Band Secretary on October 22, 2017 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
It is with the deppest regret that we announce the untimely death of one of our musical friends, Alan Branstone at the age of 62. He died on Thursday October 19th.
Alan was the conductor of the Border Concert Band in Carlisle. He had been the Band Sergeant Major of the Band of the Grenadier Guards serving under Lt Col Stuart Watts and Lt Col Philip Hills.
After leaving the Army, Alan was a peripatetic instrumental instructor in brass and strings in the Cumbria Region and was a terrific trumpet and cornet player who inspired many young people to learn a brass instrument, many of whom went on to become professional musicians. He also played the French Horn, and latterly, the trombone.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Alan's daughter Aimee in particular, and to his Family in general.