Saturday, 16 May 2015

Colours of Scotland

South Africa, the place where many different people have come together and now call her home. And this struck home once again today as I went to The Jeppe Gathering at the Jeppe High School in Kensington.

The Scottish heritage was brought to South Africa firstly by those fleeing the persecution of England and its Highland Clearances, many more came with the 1920 settlers, then came the diamond and gold rushes, and later the Boer Wars. But bonnie Scotland was here to stay and become part of a now vibrant South Africa.

As Lucky Dube once sang “We’re different colours, one people”. Yes today it showed in this Highland Gathering as Black, White, Asian, Indian, gathered together as South Africans to celebrate the Scottish culture, we are one people.

This gathering at Jeppe was also the Pipe Bands’ Association of Southern Africa regional gathering with the results counting towards the Champion Award which meant all the regions pipe bands turned up in full force to show us they have what it takes to be this year’s champion pipe band.

There were many pipe bands that turned up that I never knew existed, I saw the Transvaal Scottish, Sandton Scottish, African Skye, Benoni MacTalla, St Benedicts, Jeppe Boys, St Johns, King Edward, Christian Brothers Boksburg, Cornwall Hill, Pretoria Highlands, and many more.

One other interesting thing I saw was that the Benoni MacTalla Pipe Band brought their own wench to make sure that the shoes were kept clean. No wonder they are winning competitions.

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