Pipe Major Ron Gallagher O.A.M.

Pipe Major Ron Gallacher was a member of the Hawthorn City Pipe Band for 68 years. For many of us, Ron represented the embodiment of all the values, dreams and achievements of the band over many decades.

Over the years, he had been Hawthorn’s Pipe Corporal, Pipe Sergeant, Social Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Vice President, Pipe Tutor, and always a bandsman, but he was best known as Pipe Major of the band. Ron was Pipe Major a number of times; firstly in 1959, 1976 – 86 and and was again P/M in 2002 and 2003. He also acted as Pipe Tutor from 1992-97.

Under Ron’s leadership the band won an East Coast Championship, were twice Australian Champions and twice runners up. The band also won 9 out of 10 Victorian Championships and were the first overseas band to go to New Zealand in 1979 and then later winning the New Zealand Championships in 2002 and 2003.

Ron was appointed a judge in 1964. He became Vice Principal of Piping in 1973 – 77. In 1981 he became Principal of Piping and continued in that role for 20 years. He was the tutor of many bands, most particularly, the Melbourne Ladies Pipe Band from its earliest days through to its most successful period as a Grade 1 band. Ron was also a long time tutor of the Geelong Ladies Pipe Band and later the Geelong RSL band. He also assisted many country bands.

In his later years, Ron had a strong relationship with a number of Asian bands, conducting workshops in Singapore and was recognised for his contribution when the Singapore Pipe Band Association appointed him their inaugural Patron.

Ron was a life member of Hawthorn, Melbourne Ladies (2x), the VHPBA and the Australian Pipe Band Association. He was awarded the Sir Rupert Hamer Award for services to the pipe band movement and the City of Melbourne Award. He was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal for which a reference was made to his assistance to the pipe band fraternity.