Perth pipers blow into Lower River
By ANGELA CARROLL
IT'S the 101st Maclean Highland Gathering and the pipes are calling far and wide with bands from Blacktown and Western Australia travelling to compete.
Western Australia's Perth Highland Pipe Band will join the annual pilgrimage to the 'Scottish town in Australia' to be one of 27 pipe bands vying for glory.
Perth Highland Pipe Band spokesperson, Peter MacLean, said more than 18 band members and their families were travelling for the competition.
"We knew of the Maclean Highland Gathering and only ever heard good things about it so we decided to travel over and try our hand at competing," he said.
It will be only the fourth time the Perth band has travelled interstate to compete.
"We have been to Christchurch, Newcastle and Brisbane," he said.
"We decided to go somewhere where we could be challenged when competing."
Aside from the Highland Gathering competition, the Perth band will also spend some time visiting the sights of the Clarence Valley.
"We are definitely going to get some sight-seeing in," Mr MacLean said.
"We are arriving in Brisbane on Friday, hiring a bus and driving down, we are going to be staying in Yamba so there will be plenty for us to see."
The Perth Highland Pipe Band will be competing in the grade three competition against six other bands, including bands from Queensland, Maclean and Blacktown.
In total there are four grades of competition with 17 bands entered in the grade four competition, three bands in the grade two competition and one band in grade one.
An additional three bands ? the Wynnum SMC pipe Band, Glen Innes Pipe Band and the Grafton District Service Club Band ? will perform in non-competition events over the weekend.