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Fergus Highland Games Honours Bruce Jones Unexpected Death

Pipers and Drummers at the Fergus Highland Games on Aug. 10th and 11th honoured Bruce Jones of London Ontario with Amazing Grace. Photo courtesy of John Riddell and Adam Gagnon. Bruce passed away following the Forest City Celtic Pipe Bands competition at the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville on Sat. Aug. 3rd.   Coming off the field, Bruce was excited by the Band’s performance and commented to band members that he had never played better.   Soon after he did not feel well and sought help from nearby Paramedics at the Games.  He was immediately rushed to Alexandria Hospital, approximately 20 minutes away; however both paramedics and Hospital staff were unable to revive him.        Bruce started piping at the age of 6 with the East Hamilton Kiwanis Boys Pipe Band under Pipe Major Jock MacFarlane.     I was 8 years old at the time and remember when Bruce joined the band.  His brother Brian a drummer was also a member.   We used to smile when we talked about the instruction from Jock.  He was a real task master.  If you made a mistake at practice, the next thing you knew, the silver sole from his practice chanter would be visiting your fingers in a swift swat.   You can be sure we tried hard not to experience that.  It certainly made you pay attention!  After leaving the Kiwanis Boys Band in his late teens Bruce joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Hamilton.  He remained with the Argyll’s for a number of years and then joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Veteran’s Band.  In 1997 Bruce relocated to Texas where he played with the Caledonian Pipe Band.  In 2005 Bruce moved back to Canada and joined the London Fire Fighters Pipe Band which is also known as the Forest City Celtic Pipe Band, when competing.   During this time he also remained a valued member of the Argyll Veteran’s Band.   Bruce loved piping.  He was always ready to go whenever needed.  It not only allowed him memorable trips to Europe and the States to play, but also cemented a friendship with a wide variety of pipers and drummers that he played in bands with.  The other two loves of his life were his family and cars.  He made his living selling cars.   He worked hard at it and could tell you what model, make, engine size and what accessories were available for every car on the road.  Many would say he was a Ford fanatic!   Sunday’s at the Jones household were spent with Bruce watching NASCAR on the TV.   Bruce would pull out the ironing board and press cloths to his heart’s content (military style) watching the races.  If there were car races within a few hundred miles from home, the family would pile into the car and off they would go to the track.  Bruce leaves behind his Daughter Erin and her husband Marcus Becker.   His wife passed away eight years ago.  When asking Erin about her dad, she has many fond memories however she said the common theme was that he was always there for her.  There was always a lesson in what he did that she could learn from.  She said the values she was taught as a young person have made her what she is today.  Bruce always thought the best of everyone and treated them with the highest regard.   His daughter was especially someone special to him, as she was to Bruce.    He loved history and politics and enjoyed discussing these topics to get others opinions.  His knowledge of the local geography and history made him a very interesting person to discuss current events with. If there is anything positive to this unfortunate event, it is that Bruce did not have to suffer.   He did not spend months hooked up to tubes and feeding apparatus in a hospital bed like many have to endure.    He was taken far too early at 62 years of age but he was doing what he loved and that was playing pipes and being with friends.   Not too many of us will have the opportunity of an ending in such a way!    Bruce, from all of your band members and friends over the years, we thank you for your special friendship.     We’re fortunate to have known you! Submitted by Jim Scott

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