STILL HOPEFUL: The Warwick Thistle and Pipe Band is still hopeful they will be able to get to Russia on April 27.
STILL HOPEFUL: The Warwick Thistle and Pipe Band is still hopeful they will be able to get to Russia on April 27.

Russia now just a thistle and pipe dream

THE Warwick Thistle Pipe Band’s events calendar is getting smaller and smaller as COVID-19 has threatened its main events of the year.

Vice president Alexander Manfield says he hopes months of practice wouldn’t be wasted if the group’s Russia trip is cancelled.

The band was to arrive in Russia on April 27 for the World for Peace Festival.

“We’re monitoring it but we haven’t made any decisions,” Mr Manfield said.

“If I had to summarise it, I’d say we’re hopeful but cautious.”

While the future of the band’s first overseas tour is still up in the air, other upcoming events have been axed.

“We go to the Maclean Highland Gathering every year and it’s been cancelled for the first time since WWII,” he said.

“I have been going there since the nineties, when my younger brother was a toddler so to not go down this Easter will be weird, and a broken tradition.”

The Pipe Band is made up of a diverse age range, but Mr Manfield says no one has pulled out yet, despite the federal travel restrictions.

“I think we’ve collectively decided to stick with it if we can,” he said.

“It will be disappointing because there’s a few in the group who have never been overseas and with Mclean, we practised multiple times per week.”

The Thistle and Pipe band will no longer play at the Warwick Show, due to its cancellation.

“Our performance calendar has definitely taken a hit but my hope is if it does get cancelled, we’ll be able to still take the band overseas or to another exciting event now we know we have the community’s support behind us.”



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