Alun Crook, Alison Geeves, Rob Neal, Dave Rees, Brian Colless, Scout Collins, Heather Blackley and Kay Tsatsaronis. Image Contributed.


A generous donation was made to the Condobolin RSL Pipe Band recently by the granddaughter (Kay Tsatsaronis) of a past Condobolin RSL Club President, George MacKinnon. George MacKinnon had a strong history in the formation of the Condobolin RSL Pipe Band.

In December 2019 Kay and her husband Nick visited Condobolin and met up with Brian Colless and Heather Blackley. They were thrilled to see that the Condobolin RSL Pipe band was still going and that the Band was still wearing the MacKinnon tartan.

Archie MacKinnon was Kay’s father, and he was a teacher at Condobolin high school in the early 50s. He taught Alun Crook and many others from Condobolin. Archie had a connection with Condobolin as he boarded at Mrs Days boarding house when he was in high school with Jimmy Donnelly and Lachey Reynolds. Archie was very bright and got a scholarship to go to university at the age of 15.

In 1965 the band marched on Anzac Day in grey trousers and white shirts. After the Anzac march they approached the Condobolin RSL Club to ask if they would sponsor them. By doing this, and purchasing equipment for the band, the Condobolin RSL Club would be assured that there would be a Pipe Band playing every Anzac Day. Mr George MacKinnon was President of the Condobolin RSL Club at the time, and he founded the committee that formed the Condobolin RSL Pipe Band. Stan Cleverly was the Secretary.

Unfortunately, George MacKinnon passed away at the end of 1965. As he had been President of the RSL Club and involved in the formation of the Pipe Band it was decided to adopt the MacKinnon tartan. This tartan is still worn today. The Condobolin RSL Pipe Band first played in the MacKinnon tartan in 1966 after the Caledonian Band ceased playing.

There are still original members from the 1966 band, Mr Brian Colless, Mr Dick Gavel and Mr Alan Affleck.

After Kay’s father, Archie MacKinnon passed away, they approached the Pipe Band to offer them a donation to purchase new equipment. In May 2021, Kay, and her husband Nick, returned to Condobolin and presented the new equipment to Band members. This equipment was ordered from Scotland and consisted of new horsehair Sporrans and new Glengarry hats.

The band met at the home of Brian Colless with both the youngest, the newest and the oldest Band members. The group had a wonderful morning tea and included lots of stories of Alun Crook going to Condobolin high school with Archie MacKinnon as his teacher.

The band is very appreciative of this generous donation coming from the MacKinnon family and we thank Kay and Nick for offering the equipment which will be used for many years.

Press Release.

Last Updated: 07/07/2021By

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