Leadership Changes in the RCMP Pipe Band

One of the realities of any group is that members eventually turn over and the planning for succession of the leadership is absolutely necessary to ensure the group can carry on into the future. Pipe bands are no exception. Sunday, May 27th, was a significant day in this process for the RCMP Pipe Band. Long-time Pipe Sergeants Gilbert Young and Donald Corbett have accepted new appointments as Pipe Sergeants Emeritus, while Pipe Corporals Jenny Putinski and Iain Tait have stepped up into the Pipe Sergeant roles.

Gilbert and Donald are both founding members of our leadership team and helped form this band into what it is today.

Their journey began in September 2000, when the RCMP Pipe Band of Ottawa became official with the first band event, the Change of Command for Commissioner Zaccardelli. Gilbert Young served as the first Pipe Sergeant at that initial stage under Pipe Major Pat Hayes. Gilbert stepped down in 2002, but rejoined the RCMP band a short time later and has remained with us ever since. During that time, Pipe Sergeant Emeritus Young has done over 350 band events and contributed 6,000 volunteer hours.

Pipe Sergeant Emeritus Donald Corbett was one of the members, along with Gilbert, Graham Muir and then P/M Pat Hayes, who helped established Ottawa’s RCMP Pipe Band. He started as a piper, but stepped into the P/Sgt role when Gilbert left in 2002. He has remained as Pipe Sgt ever since, performing in over 320 band events and contributing over 8,000 volunteer hours during his service in Red Serge.

As a recognition of their incredible contributions to our band we held a small ceremony where they received their appointments as Pipe Sergeants Emeritus. Both will continue to wear their Sgt stripes for as long as they are with us. The good news is that both of these fine gentlemen will remain with the band as pipers.

Gilbert and Donald join two other “Emeritus” appointments with this band. Pipe Major Graeme Ogilvie and Drum Major Graham Muir both received that distinction in 2017 when both stepped into the back rank and allowed others to take their places in front. Graeme did return to the Pipe Major role shortly after, however, and remains as Pipe Major. Graham Muir has continued as an active piper.

Two new Pipe Sergeants were appointed on the same day to help lead the band into the future. Pipe Corporals Jenny Putinski and Iain Tait were both presented their stripes and will step into their new roles immediately. Jenny’s first gig with the band was 11 November 2010 and she brought years of experience with other bands with her. She was promoted to P/Cpl on 12 Apr 2022. Iain first paraded with RCMP on 11 November 2013 and was promoted to P/Cpl on 15 Oct 2019, also bringing a track record of excellence with other bands to us.

We are very pleased to say the future leadership of our band is secure with these two taking on this responsibility.

Thanks to Serge Gouin for the excellent photos of the presentations