Mary’s 20 years service with pipe band marked

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DUNS Pipe Band bade a fond farewell to one of its most dedicated servants on Sunday (November 13).

The band’s secretary Mary Warren stepped down after more than 20 years of tireless service, and dozens of pipers, drummers and supportive parents turned out to show their appreciation at a special presentation at Duns Royal British Legion.

Although staying out of the limelight during her time with the band, Sunday brought 63-year-old Mary’s well-deserved moment in the sun in recognition of her efforts spanning almost three decades.

The band enjoyed some of its most successful years during the mum-of-three’s time on the committee, with highlights including grade four victory at the Scottish Championships in 2007, and finally gaining promotion to grade three.

But her proudest moments came watching generations of Berwickshire youngsters work their way from beginners to accomplished players with the band - including her three sons Stephen, John and Douglas.

And with the band having formed such an important part of her life for so long, she says there will be plenty to miss during her well-earned retirement.

She told the Berwickshire News: “That was always the best part for me - seeing the boys and girls performing in public for the band. I got involved through my children, and went on to make so many friends - which is what I’ll miss the most.

“It wouldn’t be possible to run the band without the support of parents, so I’d like to say a big thank you to them, and everyone else involved with Duns Pipe Band.”

A former book-keeper with the Berwickshire Association of Voluntary Services (BAVS), Mary helped ensure the band ran smoothly behind the scenes, meaning Pipe Major Andrew Ainslie could focus on making the band sound as good as possible. And Andrew has heaped praise on her contribution throughout the years.

He said: “Mary has been a fantastic servant to the band, from looking after the welfare of players to setting up our charitable status and bringing in thousands of pounds in grants and sponsorship. Her work on a day-to-day basis has been tremendously significant, and she will be missed by all in the band. We wish her the very best in her retirement.”

Mary, who plans to spend more time with husband Alec, will be replaced by Julia Turner, the wife of current Drum Major Colin.