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In Appreciation – Anthony Bidgood OAM RFD ED

The Committee of Pipe Bands Australia wishes to announce the retirement of Tony Bidgood‭, ‬who‭, ‬for the past number of years has served as the Principal of Dress and Drill‭.  ‬A detailed summary of his significant contributions and participation in pipe band related activities has been provided below by his good friend and colleague Tony Coen‭.‬

On behalf of all members of the Association we wish to express a deep gratitude for his service‭, ‬and our thoughts and best wishes are with him.

Ainsley Hart – President Pipe Bands Australia

Tony has enjoyed a long life involved with military and pipe band activities culminating in several years as Principal Drill‭ & ‬Dress‭, ‬Pipe Bands Australia‭.‬

I know that Tony would have liked to continue on in that position‭, ‬but health circumstances have forced his hand to retire‭, ‬rather than resign as he indicated in a letter to the President‭.‬

Following is a brief run-down on Tony’s pipe band history‭:‬

  • Began as a side‭ (‬snare‭) ‬drummer and then drum major in St‭. ‬Virgil’s College Army Cadet Band in 1950s‭.‬
  • Soon joined Hobart Highland Pipe Band as a side drummer and after a while began to learn bagpipes‭.‬
  • Transferred to Pipe Corps and later was promoted to Pipe Corporal‭.‬
  • Resigned from pipe bands in early 1960s to pursue civilian and military careers‭.‬
  • Returned as a piper in 1986‭ ‬to Tas‭. ‬Police Pipe Band and over the years‭, ‬progressed through piping ranks to Pipe Sergeant and in‭ ‬1997‭, ‬Pipe Major‭. ‬In 1998‭, ‬Tony was appointed Drum Major and remained in that position until retirement from active band work in 2010‭.‬
  • During the years that it functioned from 1988‭ ‬to 1992‭, ‬Tony was a member of TasPol’s Reel Party‭.‬
  • He sat and qualified with the Intermediate Piping certificate and in the mid‭. ‬1990s‭, ‬achieved further qualifications in Advanced‭ ‬Drill‭ & ‬Dress and D&D Instructor certificates‭. ‬In the late 2010s‭, ‬he certified in Advanced Rules and Administration and is currently VP Rules and Admin‭. ‬with Pipe Bands Tas‭. ‬

Tony has many achievements that are too many to list here‭. ‬Some major milestones and experiences that he likes to remember are‭:‬

  • Edinburgh Military Tattoo 1989‭ ‬as a piper‭, ‬2002‭ ‬as Drum Major‭, ‬2005‭ ‬at Sydney as Drum Major‭.‬
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Sydney as Drum Major‭.  (‬2010‭)‬
  • Participated in tattoos and ceremonies at Jakarta 1990‭ ‬and Hawaii 1995‭ ‬Highland Gatherings‭, ‬Royal Hong Kong Police final Beating‭ ‬Retreat 1996‭, ‬Tasmania Police Centenary Tattoo 1999‭, ‬New Zealand Searchlight Tattoo 1999‭, ‬2004‭ & ‬2008‭, ‬Adelaide International Police Tattoo 2001‭, ‬2003‭ & ‬2008‭, ‬Anglesea Barracks Military Tattoo 2004‭, ‬Australian Federation Tattoo‭, ‬Hobart 2005‭, ‬opening‭ & ‬dedication with massed Police Pipes‭ & ‬Drums of National Police Memorial in Canberra 2006‭, ‬Launceston Bicentennial Tattoo 2006‭.‬
  • Many other massed and singular ceremonial occasions with Army and other pipe bands‭, ‬many of which and including a number of those listed above‭, ‬were organised‭, ‬managed and led by Tony‭.‬

One could go on for several pages‭, ‬but there is probably enough of Tony’s story already printed‭.‬

Tony’s Army career was quite extensive and there is a whole different file that can be filled‭. ‬Suffice to state that Tony attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and received the Order of Australia for services pertaining to military and pipe band activities over many years‭. ‬He also received high commendations from Tasmania’s Commissioner of Police‭.‬

As a member of Tasmania’s D&D Panel‭, ‬Tony regularly volunteered his services as adjudicator at local contests and also as Contest Supervisor when required‭. ‬He contributed a great deal to PBT both with individual bands and combined workshops to tutor and educate the finer parts of‭ ‬D&D‭.‬

He led his band‭ (‬TasPol‭) ‬to many competitions both within Tasmania and interstate and was himself a popular competitor at Drum Major Solo contests with varying results against other good rivals‭.‬

He would always endeavour to vary his schedule to provide tuition to anyone wanting to learn the finer points of drum majoring and dress wearing‭.‬

He is a good friend‭, ‬and we regularly discuss the situations and activities of pipe bands in general‭. ‬It has been a great adventure working with Tony over a lot of years‭.‬

Tony Coen
Vice Principal Drill & Dress

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