The combining of two pipe bands has led to a new uniform being designed for the new entity.
The Mataura and Gore Pipe Bands amalgamated a few years ago into the Hokonui Celtic Pipe Band.
Hokonui Celtic Pipe Band committee member and drummer Joanne Shanks said the different uniforms had made the band look like separate bands.
“We needed to look like one band, not two,” Mrs Shanks said.
The band was unanimous in choosing the McRae tartan, as it related to the Hokonui Hills and the McRae name was well known in the region.
“Sounds easy, but Scotland was the only place to source the tartan.”
It was the heaviest tartan you could get and it sat well, Mrs Shanks said.
To date, 30 new uniforms had been made for members, who ranged in age “from 14 years to others well into their 60s – there is a vast array of shapes and sizes”.
Every band member was provided with a full uniform, and had to provide only the shirt themselves.
“Interestingly, we now need to agree on the colour of shirts and ties.
“That is the last sticking point.”
The waistcoats, kilt pins and sporrans were all bought in Scotland.
The sporrans alone were $300 each.
“At the end of the day, to outfit every member of the band is going to cost thousands of dollars. We are fortunate to have had help from MLT and the McKenzie Trust, without whom we would be in dire straits,” she said.
Next year’s nationals would be held in Invercargill in March and the band would have the new outfits by then, Mrs Shanks said.
It had been a long and expensive process but well worth the effort, Mrs Shanks said.
“We are only going to get the one opportunity to do it, so we are doing it properly.”