Leading the Maclean and District Pipe Band at last year?s Highland Gathering parade is Callum Clark.
Leading the Maclean and District Pipe Band at last year?s Highland Gathering parade is Callum Clark.

Gathering momentum



THE Lower Clarence will receive a much needed boost of about $500,000 come Easter when hundreds of people descend on Maclean for the 102nd Highland Gathering.

Event secretary and organiser Bob MacPherson said the festival was one of the biggest musical competitions in Maclean, bringing more than 800 competitors to the district.

"Most bands spend between $5000 and $10,000 in bus hire, travelling, accommodation and food costs," he said.

"Add another $5000 with people going through the gates and you have some idea of the volume of dollars injected into the Valley.

"The town of Maclean needs this Scottish Festival more than ever to bring some joy back into the town after the horrific storm last December and the devastating fire this year."

Mr MacPherson said the word was out, with 25 bands responding to the call, adding all the colour and sound to start a great weekend of Highland activity in Maclean over the Easter weekend.

"People just flock to Maclean to be part of all the action as the festival draws people from all parts of Australia to enjoy bands, piping, drumming and dancing," he said.

"Many other towns hold Highland festivals, but Maclean is rated the big one when it comes to competition and this rating really brings, out the strength in all competitors."

A special competitor will be Thomas Campbell, who only arrived in Australia just two days ago, from Scotland.

Mr Campbell is a champion piper from his homeland and will be competing at Maclean.

"He brings with him a wealth of knowledge from his homeland as Pipe Major of the Milngavie Pipe Band, a small village north of Glasgow," he said.



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