Drum Sergeant, HARRY
GLEDHILL WATSON. January 12th 1920 - November 20th 2003 Age 83
Harry was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba but the
family moved to Toronto when he was only six months old. He served in the
reserve force of the Royal Regiment of Canada from 1941 till 1945.
joined the Scarborough pipe Band in 1983 and by 1987 Harry held the rank of
Corporal. He took over the position of band secretary in 1990, a position he held
until his death.
He attained the rank of sergeant in 1994, and this rise
in rank brought a little grumbling from his lifelong friend Jack Spears, who
recalled serving under Sergeant Harry way back in the days of the 12th Company,
Boys Brigade at St Barnabas Church. Harry started his musical career as a Bugler for
the Boys Brigade and then moved onto the tenor drum.
During his time
with Scarborough Pipe Band Harry never missed a parade. He slogged through
summer parades with temperatures of 35'C, through Santa Claus Parades with the
sleet, snow and rain blasting straight into the face.
At the last Labour
Day parade, which is an exceptionally long march, he remarked that he found it
just a bit strenuous. Looking about the band, there were a few band members some
thirty years younger than Harry who looked a lot more stressed than Harry.
Harry was never keen on getting his picture taken, but you can be sure
that if the band appeared on a TV clip or in the newspaper, it was almost always
Harry that appeared front and centre.
The very important social part of
Scarborough Pipe Band was due in great part to both Harry and his wife, Win, from
developing our Christmas party to organizing the music and creating the ladies
favours for our St Andrews and Burns dances. A very diligent and meticulous
Secretary, Harry's records could always be relied on to settle points of
He kept in touch with many band members who had retired and
moved away from Toronto. We had many band trips both in Canada and the U.S. as
well as two wonderful trips to Scotland in 1993 and again in 1997, and there are
many happy and funny memories of those trips and they will surface for us again
Harry was also very active in the Ontario Legion Massed Pipe
Band and traveled with them extensively through Europe and North America. The
two most special events for Harry were playing for the VE Day Celebrations at
Buckingham Palace in 1995 and most recently at the Juno Beach memorial in June
of this year.
We will miss Harry; he was a good and loyal friend and
above all a gentleman.