Saturday, December 4, 2010

... To Make a Difference

Every so often you meet a person who has made a difference in his lifetime. In Canada, we have a national program of recognition called The Champions of Change. Those that qualify are deemed to be outstanding in their chosen field and in a huge way, have affected change in society in a positive fashion. Specifically chosen was a good friend of mine and to countless young people across this country - Mr. Robert Fraser, who for 53 years has taught upwards to 20 hours per week with the Lord Selkirk Boy Scouts. For some time now, Bob Worrall and myself along with John Fisher and Reagan Jones have been conducting workshops in Winnipeg for Mr. Fraser and his charges. Each year his teaching program has been rewarded with success after success. Below is the CBC Champions of Change profile submitted.... Congratulations Mr. Fraser:Top 50!

NAME: Robert Fraser
AGE: 87
VOLUNTEERS IN: Winnipeg, Manitoba
CATEGORY: Canada - Education, Community & Culture
ORGANIZATION(S): Lord Selkirk Boys' Pipe & Drum Band


When he was a young boy growing up in Scotland, Robert suffered burns to his hands and feet. Although originally told he would never walk or make use of his hands, he later met a man who volunteered to teach him to play the bagpipes - he just had to learn to play them backwards compared to how most people play them.

Robert wanted to express his appreciation for all the time his teacher devoted to him, but his teacher said that, to pay him back, Robert should spread the culture of generosity and teach others - and that he shouldn't charge money for his services.

As soon as Robert came to Canada, he kept his promise, founding his band in 1957 - and he's still at it, now helped by some former - now grown-up - students, who are helping teach new band members. Included among their many community activities is their "Scotathon," when they march around to local business, play a bit of music, and pass the donation bucket.

Diane Kotelko, whose son is in the band, nominated Robert, noting his outfit travels around the world, and came in 8th out of 26 bands at an international competition in Scotland this year.


To learn more about Lord Selkirk Boys' Pipe & Drum Band, visit their website at

To hear a recorded interview with Mr. Fraser, visit and download

Copyright CBC; Champions of Change

Chapter 3 -  Brasil Caledonia The new generation of players that was under training was still not ready when the band started to compete...