Ladie's Pipe Band
In January 1961 it was decided to form a Ladies' pipe band. Several
metropolitan and regional centres had already established Ladies' bands,
and it was felt that Mildura had become big enough to support two pipe
bands. A Mildura resident, Mr Murray, of Deakin Ave. made a substantial
donation to start off a uniform and equipment fund on condition that
the new band wear the Murray tartan. Accordingly, the Ancient Murray
of Atholl was chosen for the band's uniform, and 20 full sets of kilts
and accessories were ordered from Thomas Gordon and Sons, of Glasgow.
However, as the young women moved away for work or to further their education,
or married and took on family responsibilities, numbers dwindled and it
became impossible to continue the band as a separate entity. In due
course the Mildura Ladies' Pipe Band merged with the Mildura and District
Pipe Band and lost its separate identity. Members of the former
Ladies' band, however, still play in the Mildura band, and for many years,
the Ladies' Pipe Major, Margaret James, was also Pipe Major of the Mildura & District
A very energetic committee was formed to raise more
money and direct the new band. The President was Mrs Mary Davis, Secretary Mr
Vic Zibell, and Miss Gillian Davis was Treasurer. Many, many weekends
were spent travelling to outback station properties to collect beer bottles
which were brought back and stored at Vic Zibell's home until they could be
sold to raise money for uniforms and equipment.
Mrs Margaret James, who also remained as a playing
member of the Mildura Pipe Band, was appointed Pipe Major, and taught all of
the young ladies who eventually became pipers in the band. Her husband,
Alec, an excellent side-drummer with the Mildura & District Pipe Band,
taught the drummers. Band practices were initially held in the Brass
Band rooms in Pine Avenue, and later at the R.S.L. Hall in Mildura.
For the next seven or eight years the band was active
in the district, playing in street marches such as the Easter Saturday and
Mardigras processions, Anzac Day and other commemorative marches and services
at Red Cliffs, Mildura, Merbein, Wentworth and Dareton.
At its height, the band had up to twelve playing Pipers,
four Side drummers, three Tenors, two Bass and two Drum Majors.
Pipers were: Margaret James, Suzanne
Zibell, Jennifer Walker, Julie Spindler, Coralee Jones, Dorothy Treffene,
Gail Davis, Ann Bruce, Isobel MacKenzie, Edna Davidson, Helene
Richardson (and Joan Wilson).
Side-drummers were Cheryl Zibell, Gwen Treffene,
Bev Gier, and Joan Wilson
Tenor drummers were Heather McLeod, Marion Burgess
and Sandra Denham, and Bass drummer was Heather
Ruddick (and Heather McLeod).
Drum Majors were Gillian Davis and Nanette McPherson.