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A New Ombudsman for The PPBSO and a special Thank You to Ken Eller!

Updated: Feb 20

New Ombudsman Jim Scott

The Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario put in place, about 25 years ago, the officially board-appointed role of the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman or Ombuds, as the role is more generally known today, is a word with Scandinavian origins but has deep roots in governing systems around the world. As in

many levels of global government and organizations The PPBSO and its members draw on the Ombuds role as follows (from the PPBSO rule book):

“The Ombudsman is a neutral party, neither an advocate for the members of the PPBSO nor for the PPBSO Executive. The Ombudsman’s main role should be to help resolve complaints informally. The Ombudsman is an alternative channel of communication meant to complement, not replace, the Executive of the Branches, Officers, or Board of Directors of the PPBSO.”

While, gladly, it might be said that the PPBSO Ombuds is not overly taxed with “customers” the role has proven important in providing a conduit for the resolution of occasional member misunderstandings and concerns that cannot be resolved via the PPBSO’s usual governance set-up (i.e through our branches, committees or the board of directors).

To date, the role’s appointees have included our most respected, seasoned and fair-minded members. Until late last year, the PPBSO’s Ombuds role was, for over ten years, held by Pipe Major Ken Eller.

Former Ombudsman Ken Eller

The venerable Ken Eller is no stranger to anyone in the piping and pipe band world. He is a legendary presence in Ontario having built and led pipe bands to the highest level and, in doing so, racked up a great many pipe band championships. Through his active teaching, leadership, thinking, and counsel Ken has contributed so much in countless positive ways to Ontario piping, and beyond.

P/M Eller advised the board late last year he thought it was time a new person filled the Ombuds role.

While very sorry to see Ken step aside as Ombuds, The PPBSO is pleased to announce, Pipe Major Jim Scott as the PPBSO’s new Ombudsman. Jim held the Ombuds role (prior to Ken Eller) and is also a legendary piper whose impact on the piping world cannot be overstated.

A long-time member of P/M Gord Tuck’s grade one MacNish Distillery Pipe Band, piper-for-dancing extraordinaire (he is one of the biggest selling piping for dancing recordings ever!) He’s the Scott of Scott’s Highland Services, an active P/M of a competing band, and an accredited solo and pipe band judge.

Jim Scott has also found the time to volunteer outside of the piping world, as an executive leader of Kiwanis International. In 2021 Jim Scott was notably named "Volunteer of the Year" by the Ontario Music Festival Association.

The PPBSO is grateful for the tireless dedication of volunteers like Pipe Majors Ken Eller and Jim Scott. We thank Ken for his wise counsel and service and welcome Jim back as the PPBSO’s new ombudsman.

From all members of the PPBSO, a sincere thank you to both Ken and Jim!


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