Updated: 22 September, 2017


Want to learn Bagpipes or Drums?
Lessons are available.
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Practice Location

Moss Park Armoury
130 Queen Street East
Tuesday Evenings

Available on CD


Upcoming Events

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Pipe Major Sgt Alex Newlands and his two brothers Alan & Colin Alex Newlands Alan Newlands Colin Newlands
Pipe Major Alexander A. Newlands (center)
with brothers, 2nd Pipe Major 15th Battalion

Alexander Austin Newlands was born in Toronto in 1889, second eldest of six children. His father an immigrant from Edinburgh, Scotland was a printer in Toronto.

Following schooling Alex pursued his interest in Art and became a Commercial Artist, working with several companies in Toronto, one being Ralph-Clark Lithographic Co. He also worked with the Toronto Star and was friends with well-known Jimmy Fryes, cartoonist, and Gregory Clark, correspondent.

In 1914, Alex Newlands enlisted in the 48th Highlanders of Canada. Pipe Major Newlands was with the CEF 15th Battalion, the first 48th Battalion to go overseas serving at Vimy Ridge.

Following the first World War, Alex Newlands followed a close friend named Howard Maclean, also a piper, to the Peace River country in northern Alberta where the two men decided to try their hand at farming. While they were getting the land in shape to farm, and building a log cabin to live in, Alex worked on the Hudson Bay Company Boat called the "Weenusk", taking supplies up the Peace River to the Post.

48th Pipes and Drums, 1914 PM James Fraser DM G. Marlbrough Alex Newlands Howard Maclean
PM James Fraser and 48th Highlanders Pipes and Drums, 1914.
Alex Newlands third from right rear row. PM James Fraser DM G. Marlbrough Alex Newlands

Bournemouth, England, 1914 Pipe Major Alex Newlands
15th Battalion Pipe Band, Bournemouth, England, 1914
Pipe Major A Newlands is on the left.

In 1926, Alex married a neighbor's daughter, Eva Merle Ashley, and they moved to their own farm in the same area. Howard married and later became a grain buyer in Fairview. Alex and Howard were well known in the Peace River country for their entertainment with the bagpipes at various functions such as sports days, weddings, and armistice celebrations.

The Newlands had a son and two daughters, all living in in Western Canada; Sandy, Margaret and Marion. In 1939, Alex enlisted in the 2nd World War where, due to his age, he spent the war years (1939-1945) in Toronto, Camp Borden, and Brantford with the Armoured Corps as a REME inspector in MD2. Alex achieved rank of warrant officer by the wars end. Eva and the children remained on the farm until the war ended in 1945.

The Newlands retired and sold the farm in 1958, moving to a small town, Maple Ridge, just outside of Vancouver, BC. Eva passed in 1963 away after a lengthy illness and Alex once again became involved with the local Legion Pipe Band, RCL Branch 88, for many years. He enjoyed reasonably good health until his death in 1981.