Monday 15th of July 2019

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Monday, 01 September 2008 21:54

Kellswater Flute Band have returned from a five day tour of Gibraltar where they were  warmly welcomed  and had an official Civic Reception afforded to them by the Deputy Mayor.

This was the band’s major event during a year of 60th Anniversary Celebrations. Included in the party of sixty two who made the trip was founder member Jack Mc Kee who still plays with the band!

In Gibraltar the band was kindly allowed to rehearse at the Gibraltar Army Band’s barracks and parade ground, which was a short distance away from their accommodation, high up on the famous rock.

Radio Gibraltar and Gibraltar TV carried out various interviews with band members, helping promote the Concert carried out by the band which was the final evening of the popular Summer Nights Concerts organized by the Ministry of Culture, at Casemates Square, the centre of the lively tourist scene.

Joining the band during the three hour show was Ross Alexander, Fiddler Adam, an Irish dance troupe from Lord of the Dance and folk group Shillelagh from Ballymena.

The highlight of the evening was the finale which had the huge crowd assembled in the square and in the various outdoor restaurants on their feet giving the show tremendous applause.

The band carried out two parade engagements down Main Street bursting with locals and tourists, some having just disembarked from the cruise liner ‘Pacific Princess’ docked in Gibraltar Port.

On the concluding day Kellswater was joined by The Streetsville Pipe Band from Canada and the local Sea Scouts Pipe Band for their final parade along Main Street, with each band stopping at various points along the route to perform to the appreciative crowds.

Finally the band paraded to the City Hall where presentations were made to the Deputy Mayor, Olga Zammitt, the Director of the Ministry of Culture, Cynthia Eagle and the Bandmaster of the Sea Scouts Pipe Band, Tony Galliano.

As the Deputy Mayor presented the band with a plaque she requested a final display of the Band’s Drum Corps Salute.

Reciprocal  cultural visits have already been discussed and on the sporting front, the possibility of a team from Gibraltar taking part in the prestigious Milk Cup football tournament next year, just some of the benefits to come from this visit!

Kellswater Flute Band would like to thank Ballymena Borough Council for their support, all individuals and businesses who donated so generously towards the venture and anyone who supported them at any fundraising event.

The band is hoping to organize an evening to recollect the event with the showing of a DVD, it is hoped that two founder members, Thomas Mc Donald and William Cupples who did not make the trip to Gibraltar will be in attendance.

A commemorative CD is now on sale from any band member, for more information on Kellswater Flute Band, visit their website at


Ballymena Times September 2008.


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