School pipers provide a wee taste of Scotland

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 March, 2010, 12:00am

Hong Kong has always had strong Scottish connections, with place names like Aberdeen, Cameron Road and Braemar Hill.

One of the oldest companies here, Jardines, has a logo depicting a very Scottish thistle, and even the trams are said to be from Aberdeen.

Scottish traders were a part of the city from the beginning. At many significant events in Hong Kong, you'll see a piped band, summoning up the atmosphere of the Highlands or a Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Pupils from Fettes College in Edinburgh are bringing this essence of Scotland to the Sevens and beyond; they piped at the Deutsche Bank Long Lunch on Friday, they piped throughout the stadium at the parade of teams, and they will pipe at today's closing ceremony. They'll be piping at the firing of the Noon Day Gun on the harbourfront, before heading off to Mission Hills Scottish Festival in China.

Every couple of years the Fettes College Pipe Band embarks on an international tour for educational purposes.

As the band had not been to Hong Kong since 2004, it was the natural choice.

Not only does Fettes College have a brilliant band, it also has a strong rugby alumni. Old boys include former internationals and representatives Bill Gammell, Frans Herman ten Bos, Charlie Keenan and Chris Kinloch

'Hong Kong is great,' band member Lachlan Grassie said. 'It's a global city and everyone fits in. I'm tipping Fiji to win.'