The Nelson Mandela Artillery Pipes & Drums had the opportunity to visit 2 retirement villages on Saturday, 27 March 2021, to perform for the residents by request. Social distancing was strictly adhered to throughout the performances at these venues. This marked the 1-year anniversary of the National LockDown in South Africa during the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the residents of the Helen Keller Society have not left their premises or have had guests to visit them in over a year.
The music performed by the band gave a much-deserved break from a yearlong lockdown. Amazing Grace, Highland Cathedral and many other Scottish tunes were played and lots of tears were shed. We saw people in Frail care at the windows waiving which caused a tear or two in the band as well. The highlight was “Happy Birthday”, played by the band for all the birthdays missed in the last year. The Band was invited for much-needed tea, coffee and biscuits in our own demarcated area to recharge our batteries for the next visit of the day.
This performance on the lawn at the CPOA Pinelands Place Retirement Village was rather special for the band as well as one of the pipers and the co-ordinator of the day, Caireen Alston, had the opportunity to play in front of her father who was dressed smartly in his Kilt. The band consisted of 5 Pipers, 1 bass drummer, 2 Tenor drummers and 2 side drummers and of course our Drum Major. Refreshments were kindly served to the band after this performance as well.
We hope to be able to share our music with more retirement villages over the next few months.