Gillie kept honour from everyone - even her hubby
Keeping the pipe band in the McNab family, three of her six grandchildren are in the Pitlochry group. It even saw an appearance by the youngest Ruarigh, who marched on stage with a drum when he was the tiniest of toddlers.
Gillie went back to being secretary in the 80s and is the main organiser of the weekly outdoor performances, the Highland Night held at Pitlochry Recreation Ground.
“It’s a big task, the events we put on for tourists are the band’s main fundraiser. Proceeds help with uniform and travel expenses,” Gillie explained.
“And as well as secretary and fundraising, one of the other main things I do is start all the learners off on the practice chanter, getting them ready for pipes.
“I’m also the equipment officer, so I kit them all out as well.”
Gillie’s workload is full on at the moment: “It won’t be long before the Vale’s next fundraiser, the Junior Pipe and Drum Competition, on January 19. Anyone can come and watch the competition, we hold it at Pitlochry High School every year. There’s a big raffle and 19 different competition events. Gillie and the Vale of Atholl at Pitlochry’s New Year street party. Pic by Angus Findlay
Right now I’m deep into preparing the entries, we get thousands of young people from all over coming to compete.”
Despite 50 plus years of service, Gillie has no plans for retirement
from organising or from the band. The BEM award just adds to her feeling of dedication.
“Last week, we were playing in Tesco on Perth’s Crieff Road and doing a bucket
collection. Many people heard the pipes and came up to me and said ‘well done, heard about your BEM, it’s totally deserved.’ I told them I feel very humbled to be getting it, but ecstatic too.”
Bound to the band