THE BEAT GOES ON

Be­ing a Cana­dian abroad is an emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for Cindy John­son and her band­mates

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - FRAM DINSHAW [email protected]­daily.com @truro­daily

The Colch­ester Le­gion Pipes and Drums are de­part­ing for the Nether­lands in April to com­mem­o­rate that coun­try’s lib­er­a­tion from Nazi Ger­many by Cana­dian forces.

TRURO, N.S. – Decked out in a smart red uni­form, Cindy John­son gar­ners much re­spect when she marches down a cob­bled Nether­lands street.

Seventy-five years af­ter Cana­dian forces freed the Nether­lands from Nazi op­pres­sion, John­son and her fel­low Nova Sco­tians still en­joy the celebrity treat­ment. She is headed to the Nether­lands for the fourth time with the Colch­ester Le­gion Pipes and Drums group, April 29 to May 11.

“It’s hard to ex­plain, but there’s such a nice feel­ing to know there’s such a bond be­tween two coun­tries,” said John­son, a pipe ma­jor. “It makes me feel very proud.”

While the trip is booked and paid for, the Pipes and Drums had to pay about $26,000 out of pocket, one third of the to­tal cost.

They are host­ing a se­ries of fundrais­ers to put to­wards their ex­penses, the most re­cent be­ing a pan­cake break­fast at Truro Le­gion Feb. 16. Two more are planned be­fore they leave.

John­son first vis­ited the Nether­lands with the Pipes and Drums in 1990, re­turn­ing in 2005, 2010 and 2015. In years past, the group took Sec­ond World War vet­er­ans along with them, but John­son was doubt­ful any will come this year.

“We still have vets, but most of them are in their 90s.”

The Pipes and Drums are stay­ing in the small town of Hel­len­doorn, near the Ger­man border. The band will pa­rade there as well as in the nearby town of Ni­jverdal and Wa­genin­gen, near the city and for­mer bat­tle­ground of Arn­hem.

The Colch­ester Pipes and Drums hold prac­tice ses­sions at least once a week. As their trip looms, the group is fit­ting in ex­tra prac­tice.

The group is re­hears­ing their bag­pipe and drum­ming rou­tines with the help of mu­sic videos sent by a Dutch orches­tra, whose songs they will per­form when on tour.

“The world seems smaller now we can do things like that,” said John­son.

The two up­com­ing Pipes and Drums fundrais­ers in­clude a Le­gion trivia night and yard sale.

Trivia will run from 7 to 10 p.m. on March 21 at the Truro Le­gion, 42 Brunswick St. The yard sale is also at the Le­gion and is on April 19 from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more in­for­ma­tion and up­dates, visit the Colch­ester Pipes and Drums Face­book page.

CONTRIBUTE­D PHOTO

The Colch­ester Le­gion Pipes and Drums are de­part­ing for the Nether­lands in April to com­mem­o­rate that coun­try’s lib­er­a­tion from Nazi Ger­many by Cana­dian forces.

FRAM DINSHAW/TRURO NEWS

This uni­form grants Cindy John­son celebrity sta­tus in the Nether­lands. She is a ma­jor with the Colch­ester Le­gion Pipes and Drums group.

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