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Drummer steps back after 50 years with Delta Police Pipe Band

Gregor (Greg) Hall joined the band in 1973
Pictured left to right is Delta Police Pipe Band Pipe Major Cory Tillyer, the retring Gregor Hall, Delta Police Insp. Jim Ingram and Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord at the 48th annual Robbie Burns Supper, Saturday, Jan. 27 ay Sacred Heart Elementary in Ladner. The event served as the final one of Hall. Jim Kinnear Photo

The Delta Police Pipe Band will have to march to the beat of a different drummer now that after 50 years Gregor (Greg) Hall is putting down his drumsticks and giving his shoulders a break.

Hall joined the band in September 1973, after signing on with the Delta Police after moving from the United Kingdom, where he was a London bobby for seven years.

Although he transferred to Matsqui police a few years later, Hall stayed with the Delta Police Pipe Band and continued weekly practices that entailed long drives from his Chilliwack home, while also performing in as many as 20 events a year in Delta and across the province.

Abbotsford and Matsqui amalgamated in 1995, leading to the creation of the Abbotsford Police Department.

Being part of a band may seem like a traditional hobby when it’s actually a way to see the world.

“We’ve been to Holland twice, to Switzerland twice. We’ve been to Scotland twice.

“We’ve been to Hawaii. We’re so well-known in the (military) tattoo scene around the world, around Europe and the States,” Hall said.

He was born in Inverness, Scotland.

He’s also played for Queen Elizabeth three times, once when BC Place was opened, and again, during a tour of Scotland in 2001 and at Windsor Castle in 2011.

As for musical royalty, he played with Paul McCartney’s band in 2012, at BC Place, and again in 2016, at Rogers Arena.

Marching up and down hills and roads while pounding out the beat on the bass drum, requires concentration.

“You have to listen to the music,” he said. “If you can’t listen to the music, you can’t hope to keep the beat.”

Hall played his last event with the Delta Police Pipe Band at the annual Robbie Burns Supper, Jan. 26 and 27, in Ladner.

“There’s no doubt I’ll miss the band, especially the guys,” said Hall, 79. “It’s camaraderie of the band. The band looks out for each other. I like the music. I like being part of the band playing that music.”