Jamie Thomson continues to honour frontline workers and entertain his Beach Grove neighborhood at the same time.
It was nearly a year ago that the Delta Police Pipe Band member began a nightly tribute on his bagpipes as the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed our lives. He is now closing in on 200 performances in what has evolved into somewhat of a neighborhood event.
Thomson typically starts at his front door and performs his way down to the street where his routine concludes by raising his pipes in the air and delivering his own personal war cry “kill the virus.”
Each performance is livestreamed on Facebook by his wife Christine.
“People started coming onto the street because I think they wanted an escape from the COVID catastrophe,” explained Thomson. “Kids then got into the act by buzzing up and down the street on their bikes. There are a couple of real stalwart neighbors that we chat away with and sometimes do the odd ceremony with a beer too.”
Thomson has adjusted his schedule since the pandemic started. He moved his performances up 30 minutes to accommodate children getting ready for bed once schools re-opened. He later cut it back to Friday, Saturday and Sundays only for the same reason.
“The performances will probably go on for about a year and when things get kind of resolved (with the pandemic) that’s when I will stop,” he said. “I have really enjoyed doing this and raising a few spirits as well. It’s been good practice for me too.”
Thomson is continuing a tradition. His pipes have been part of the family since his father was born 100 years ago.
He continues weekly Zoom sessions with other Delta Pipe Band members and is looking forward to regular appearances again, post-COVID-19.