James W. Troy

Upon advice from his Scottish doctor to take up Highland Dancing to help strengthen his legs after a foot surgery, James W. Troy began dancing lessons with Adeline Duncan. Deciding that bagpipes were more appealling, he began taking lessons, at the age of seven, from her husband, Pipe Major Ian Duncan of Victoria. Under his direction, a youth pipe band was formed called the Greater Victoria Schools Pipe Band. James W. was the Pipe Major until he aged out at sixteen; then joined the CSR until his resignation a couple of years later in order to join the Air Force. His connections with Lillian Davis, Adeline’s sister, presented an opportunity to play with the Royal Canadian Air Force Pipe Band, which took him to the Worlds Fair in 1961. James W. studied with a number of different instructors throughout his years: Archie MacEndewar, Jimmie Watt, Archie Cairns and Donald MacLeod. Andrew Wright played a key role in James W.’s love for piobaireachd. Bob Hardie was also a major influence for the inception of the City of Victoria Pipe Band, which was formed in 1972. The plan was to develop a band on the west coast based on the model of Muirhead & Sons and Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia. City of Victoria paved the way for a up-to-date Grade One standard in B.C. The band was hugely successful; making an impact at the 1979 World Pipe Band Championships in Nottingham, where a number of sources have said “they should have won that day”. Instead, sixth place was awarded which was the same result for the band two years later in 1981. The Eighties were the prime years for City of Victoria, bringing up several of today’s influential players such as Bruce Gandy, Jack and Terry Lee, Peter Aumonier and John Fisher. After thirty years with BC Tel in the Advanced Communications department, James W. retired in 1996. In 1998, retirement ceased when the Troys took over the McAllister reed business. Ever the Pipe Major, James W. was recruited by a local policeman, Dave McMillan, to lead the Greater Victoria Police Pipe Band, which has gained a high profile within the community. A certified Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association judge as well as a member of the British Columbia Piper’s Association adjudicator’s panel, James W. is known for his passion, extensive knowledge and downright honesty. He continues to be a well sought after, well respected instructor and adjudicator.

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