Saturday Sepia on Sunday – Pipers

I don’t usually participate in the Saturday Sepia posts as I’ve often felt I don’t have enough suitable old photos. However the moment I saw the prompt for #158 I knew I had to take part (even though the photo has been hand tinted). After all it did feature Scottish pipers of which I have more than my share in my family tree.

Duncan McCorkindaleThis photo is of my grandmother’s brother, Duncan McCorkindale. It was given to me by my father’s cousin about 20 years ago and she has recorded the details from the back of her copy – interesting as none of the others have similar notations. I wrote about the McCorkindale brothers, all expert pipers, in my Trove Tuesday post here but on reflection Duncan’s story would deserve a future post as well, but not today.

Duncan and his brother Peter left Glasgow for Australia in June 1900 so logically the photo must have been taken before then. Certainly Duncan looks quite young and his emigration records (and his birth) show his age as 25. Both he and Peter were joiners, an occupation that would lead Duncan to the Australian nation’s capital, Canberra, to help with its establishment and construction, though online reports suggest he had a reputation for severity as a boss.

Along the way Duncan also was instrumental (smile!) in the establishment of the Caledonian Society in Canberra, a judge with their Highland Games in 1925 and 1927, and was an elder with the Presbyterian church.

The meeting commenced at 8 p m. (?) but shortly before that time the skirl of the bagpipes played by Mr. D. McCorkindale were heard in the clear still moonlight and attracted many.[i]

Duncan died a gruesome death in a Sydney road accident in 1928 when he was only 54.

Duncan McCorkindale reverse of pic

[i] Queanbeyan-Canberra Advocate 12 March 1925, page 2

22 thoughts on “Saturday Sepia on Sunday – Pipers

    1. Thanks Rebelhand, and yes, it was lucky to have the details -none of the others do, I suspect he must have paid to have his hand-coloured. My guess is it was possibly taken quite close to when they emigrated.


    1. Thank Sue. I was lucky to be given a photo of each of the sons (my grandma’s brothers) and their father, in kilts. I’m so grateful to the rellie who gave them to me years ago.


  1. Loved the picture and looking forward to the picture of you grandfather! Although I don’t have any pipers in the family (that I know of) we used to roust the kids from their sleeping bags in the loft of our lake cabin with bagpipe music. Each grumbled at the time, but now they look back fondly at those bagpipe memories.


    1. Thanks Joan. I smiled at that story of the kids…we have a family story about Australia’s bicentenary celebrations when many people slept out in order to have a prime harbour-side position. One group insisted on being rowdy way into the night, so when a piper played into their tent early next morning he was highly commended 🙂


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