Big demand for Penrith RSL Pipes & Drums Band

(L to R)  Stephen Iverson, David Tyler (Drum Major), Alan Harris, Tim Badger (President). Other members unavailable for photo.  Photo supplied by Tim Badger

THE Penrith RSL Pipes and Drums Band was officially formed mid 2022, following a series of events and circumstances. After contact with Smithfield RSL ceased during the COVID lock down, it was decided by the executive team to approach Penrith RSL in the hope of becoming a ‘sub-Club’ to the RSL Club.

The team quickly set to work, crossing the “T’s” and dotting the “I’s” and finally achieved their aim of becoming a sub-club to Penrith RSL in early

The primary obligation and function of the Penrith RSL Pipes and Drums Band is to provide a professional and competent Pipes and Drums band to the community, and for Penrith RSL events, in a happy, friendly and inclusive environment.

In the past 12 months, the band numbers have grown from approximately 12 members to 35 members, most of whom are veterans (70%) or families of veterans (20%), with the other 10% made up of members of the general public.

Tim Badger, President of the band, said “The members are excited about the future and are hoping to increase our numbers in the future. In particular, we are looking forward to increasing the number of local children and young adults.

“This band is a source of inspiration for our members, particularly some of our veterans who are suffering with ongoing mental health issues associated with war and service-related injuries. This is a place for all band members to contribute, to learn new skills and to enjoy the company of like-minded people, in a community-based family-orientated club. “At present, we have a dad and two of his children, a mum and daughter, a dad and daughter and dad and son within the team. It is lovely to see family members spending time together.

“The band’s attendance at local events has also increased over the last 12 months, from 9 to over 20 gigs in 2024. This year we are participating in six local ANZAC events, two ANZAC events in Sydney CBD, attending the Greek Day Festival, the Bundanoon Highland Gathering (re-scheduled for August), the Berry Celtic Festival, St Mary’s Spring Festival, Nepean Netball Opening Ceremony, Remembrance Day ceremonies and four BBQ fundraising events at Harvey Norman, just to name a few.

“It is great to be accepted as a local asset and a reward to the members of the band for all their hard work and effort.

“The aim of the band is simple. To get good enough to represent Penrith, the Sydney Metropolitan Area, New South Wales and Australia at Nationals, and be invited to International events such as the Basel Military Tattoo in Switzerland and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2028.

“The Penrith RSL Pipes and Drums band are blessed to have one of the best pipers (Andrew Iverson) and drummers (Dean Muller) in the country. Andrew has played at the Edinburgh Tattoo, Villers-Bretnneux in France and later in the year, Basel in Switzerland.

“Dean took a team of drummers to the world’s a few years ago and got in the Top 5 in the world, so rest assured, any new members will be in great hands.

“Video footage of the band can be found on the band’s YouTube channel by typing in Penrith RSL Pipes and drums into You Tube. Please feel free to subscribe if you like the footage.

“The costs associated with joining the band are minimal and far less than joining a sporting club. The only payments required is a one off fee of $50 per person and the purchase of a pair of socks and training shirt.
There are no on going annual fees. Members are required to supply their own long sleeve shirt and shoes.

If you wish to join the band and and learn new skills, the band trains every Monday and Wednesday night at the Penrith RSL between 7pm and 9pm. Training locations and points of contact can be found within the Penrith RSL Pipes and Drums website