Sunday, February 17, 2013


The Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band in South West Florida

Far from the shores of Lake Huron, the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band is spending a few days in South West Florida. Most Saturday nights in the summer, members of the band parade the streets of Kincardine, and entertain at Victoria Park.

This weekend, they piped the grounds of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, much to the delight of tourists gathered under the sprawling banyan tree. For the record, the tree covers almost an acre, but was a mere sapling when presented to Thomas Edison by his pal Harvey Firestone in 1925.

Thomas Alva Edison and his wife Mina thoroughly enjoyed the concert. Actually, Edison was enjoying his 166th birthday, so a representative stood in for him. They were accompanied by Henry Ford.

There were a few Canadian flag wavers in the crowd. Naturally, and typically, Canadians are not prone to boast their colours. On this occasion, one could spot a shirt or two with the red and white flag.

One of the members of the band, Keith Davidson, has been piping with the band for many years. I must confess I was tipped to his whereabouts by a mutual friend, Peter Carver. Carver introduced Davison to me, by telephone, as the “Prime Minister of the Leafs’ Nation”.

I spoke with a few members in the crowd who knew Carver, a long-time history teacher at the local high school. “He taught all of our children,” was a comment expressed by many.

“Many of us have worked diligently to try to get Carver to see the light, and support the Leafs. To no avail. It is never a shock to see his name pinned to a letter to the editor to stir the wrath of the locals. He is a die-hard Red Wings fan, and that’s not about to change”, Davidson told me after the concert.

Carver had told me about Davidson’s excellent hockey prowess. “I played a little Intermediate hockey. That’s about it”, he told me modestly at the entrance to the Estates.

Following the concert, the band enjoyed an afternoon on the shores of the Caloosahatchee River, as they toured the historic site.

The following evening, the band walked the streets of Fort Myers, as part of the 75th Edison Light Parade.

A weekend to remember in South West Florida!

James Hurst

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