Home > Band News > Fundraiser to buy ceremonial mace carrying names of fallen RCMP comrades

Fundraiser to buy ceremonial mace carrying names of fallen RCMP comrades

RCMP Regimental MaceWe’ve all seen it; a pipe band marching towards you, the skirl of the pipes and drums echoing off the hills or buildings, and leading the band; the drum major carrying the regimental mace and the decorations of the regiment across his or her shoulder.

Drum majors have been a part of the British Army for almost 400 years. It began with a fife and drum corps, under the direction of a drum major, providing signals to various field units during battle. When not directing music during times of war, the DM would often be responsible for delivering justice among the ranks, administering whatever flogging needed to be done. Oh, and he delivered the mail.

By the 18th century, as Highland piping became more prominent in the British Army, drum majors adapted to leading pipe bands as they marched or played in a performance.

The symbol of the drum major’s authority is the mace, sometimes called a baton. It’s considered a “badge of office” and while it isn’t used too RCMP E. Division Drum Major Mike Guilleminoften to flog errant pipers, it is used to keep time for the musicians marching behind him or her. The DM can also display a drum major’s virtuoso with the mace prior to a band performance.

Most maces carry the coat-of-arms, crest and other important titles and honours of the regiment. Regimental maces also carry the names of deceased members of the regiment on a scroll that is placed within the mace. In a sense, this means the troops following behind the drum major are being led by their fallen comrades. The names of all fallen RCMP officers since 1873 is listed on a scroll which the drum major receives at RCMP depot every September.

But not in British Columbia.

Scotch TastingThe RCMP E. Division Pipes and Drums currently is raising funds through a raffle and scotch tasting event that will hopefully go a long way towards “raising a new mace” in Surrey. The current mace is only temporary and does not carry the regiments name, the scroll of fallen comrades, crest and honours. It also has too many notches and dents from beating laggard pipers. So, it’s time for a new one.

At 6pm on Saturday, November 22, the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band will host an evening of scotch tasting along with a raffle for a beautiful Regimental steamer trunk. Tickets are $10 and include one beverage (scotch sample or bar drink) and appetizers. The event is being held at the RCMP Green Timbers NCO’s mess, 14,200 Green Timbers Way in Surrey.

This event is open to the public and is a great opportunity for the general public and supporters of the band to come out to see the new RCMP headquarters and to enjoy the camaraderie of bandsmen and women and members of Canada’s national police force.  Parking is available (free after 6pm) in the front lot of the RCMP building with entrance through the main doors. Members of the band will be available to sign-in guests and escort them to the NCO mess for the event.

For ticket information contact Mike Guillemin: 604-591-9848 or mbguillemin@telus.net.

(This post was updated on Oct. 24 with new information about the scroll of fallen members.)

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