The Bracebridge Legion Branch 161 Pipes and Drums will be touring the retirement homes in Bracebridge on Remembrance Day.
It’s the second year in a row that they will be performing for residents of James Street Place, The Pines, Castle Peak, and Muskoka Hills. The first show will start at 10 AM on November 11th at 148 James Street.
Treasurer and Quartermaster Dave Hudson has been with the band for nearly four decades. Every year they play at Memorial Park for Remembrance Day. “That goes back before my time in the band,” he says.
Last year they were forced to cancel their performance because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the gathering limits that were being enforced at the time.
“We were asked not to play at the park for fear of drawing a crowd,” he explains.
The idea to bring the music to homes was thought up by band member Tom Young. Hudson says before the pandemic started, they would travel to a different retirement home every Monday to practice.
“It gave us a chance to get out and residents a chance to hear the band play,” he explains.
As a way to keep the tradition of them playing on Remembrance Day going, they held performances across the street from the four retirement homes in Bracebridge.
Some of the seniors sat on the front lawn, while others were perched on the balcony, or opened the window to their room.
Hudson says they were even joined by elementary students from Bracebridge Public School.
“We had both ends of the spectrum,” he jokes. “We had all the dear old souls on the porch and the kids on the lawn.”
A few weeks after their performance, the students actually sent the band a poster full of thank you letters.
“It was for our benefit as much as it was for the veterans,” Hudson says of the performances. He says this year’s performances will be done the same way last years were. “I’m sure it will be as gratifying as it was last year,” he says.