A PIPER who has served North Berwick Pipe Band for more than 75 years has been named the group’s honorary life president.

Tom Fergusson was just eight years old when he was given a practice chanter.

Since then, he has gone on to fill a number of roles in the band, including pipe major, pipe band president and tutor.

His incredible achievements were marked at the band’s AGM.

Modest Tom said he had enjoyed playing the pipes and would continue to be involved with the pipe band.

The meeting was held at North Berwick’s Nether Abbey Hotel, where colleagues past and present paid tribute to Mr Fergusson’s unequalled contribution to the pipe band.

When Clydebank was blitzed and largely destroyed in March 1941, the Fergusson family, who already had relatives in North Berwick, were evacuated to the other side of Scotland.

An eight-year-old Tom came east and quickly made his home in North Berwick.

With a practice chanter borrowed from an uncle and a second-hand tutor book, he quickly learned to play the band’s repertoire of tunes and participated in all events and engagements, including representing Scotland at the 1950 Scout Jamboree in Denmark.

When the scout pipe band became the town’s pipe band in 1957, Tom transferred his skills to this new band and eventually rose to the rank of pipe major.

At various times over 77 years, Tom was a piper, pipe major, pipe band president and tutor, passing on his skills to succeeding generations of young pipers including his own son, who now lives in New Zealand.

Finally last year, at the age of 85, Tom decided to call it a day, and his colleagues in the pipe band quickly appointed him honorary life president so that his unsurpassable years of service would be recognised and his life-long connection would continue.

A certificate of grateful recognition and a silver quaich were presented by senior members of the band.

Lyle Crawford, president of North Berwick Pipe Band, paid tribute to Tom, who turned 86 on Boxing Day and has now retired from the band after 77 years of active service.

He said: “Tom Fergusson’s commitment has been second to none.

“His quiet dedication has been a model and lesson to us all and I am delighted that he has agreed to accept the title of honorary life president.”

Also at the AGM, Eddie McFadzean was named the band’s new pipe major, with Derek Easton remaining as leading drummer.

New members are welcome to join the pipe band.

Tuition on pipes and drums is available to all ages and all abilities.

The drum corps are especially looking for more bass and tenor drummers.