Cairns, MMM, CD (4), Major Archie

Cairns, MMM, CD (4), Major Archie

April 1st, 2016

Peacefully at home on 1 April, 2016 at the age of 87 with daughter Fiona at his side.  He was a loving and devoted son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather.  Archie is predeceased by his wife Joy, son Michael and daughter Tara.  Archie served 52 continuous years in the Canadian Forces, with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (PL), 2nd Battalion The Canadian Guards, RCAF and the Reserve Force Cadet Instructor’s List.  He retired in 1993 as a Major, being one of the few to have received the 4th clasp to the CD.  He was awarded numerous other medals and citations, including the Order of Military Merit (Member) for exceptional service and conspicuous merit in bringing credit upon the Canadian Forces through his specialized expertise and professionalism.  Archie was the first to be appointed Senior Pipe Major in the Canadian Forces.  His contributions to the world of piping can not be overstated.  Performance highlights include piping on many occasions for the Royal Family, piping the first Maple Leaf flag from the Centre Block to its place on Parliament Hill, P/M on the Production Staff of the Canadian Forces Centennial Tattoo, Guard Mounting in Ottawa, piping 3 State Funerals, and multiple performances at the Edinburgh Tattoo.  Further, his work as an adjudicator, teacher, composer, and arranger put his training from the Pipe Major course at the British Army School of Piping (1964), where he graduated 1st in his Class with a Distinguished Pass, to prolific use.  As a Pipe Major in the Canadian Forces, he led his bands to performing excellence.  His manuals for piping and drumming inspired a generation of cadets.  He was granted a Life Membership in the Army Cadet League of Canada in April 1995, for his “distinguished services and support to both the Army Cadet Movement and the Army Cadet League of Canada”.  In July 2012, he received the Cadet Instructors Cadre Lifetime Achievement Award “for outstanding contributions to the Cadet Instructor branch and the Canadian Cadet Organizations” over the course of his lifetime, with a personal thanks from the Chief of Reserves and Cadets “for dedicated and meritorious service to Canada, the Canadian Forces and his community”.  His most recent work as Pipe Major of the London Police Pipes and Drums since 1983 included the publication of his teaching approaches, and a vast number of compositions.  Archie was recognized by his community in 2011 being named to the City of London Mayor’s Honours List for “Outstanding contributions to the Arts in the City of London”.  In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.  This was truly meaningful as Major Cairns had played at the Coronation Ball at the Savoy Hotel in London in June 1953, when he was Pipe Major of the Argylls.  Special and sincere thanks for the care and compassion shown by Dr. Diane Logan, Dr. Patrick Teefy and Dr. Patrick Potter.  These doctors, along with other medical staff, provided Archie the very best care over the years!  Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., with a Masonic Service under the auspices of Middlesex Lodge, No. 379 at 6:30 p.m., at WESTVIEW FUNERAL CHAPEL, 709 Wonderland Road North, London, where the funeral service will be conducted on Monday, April 4th, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., with visitation from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Cremation to follow.  

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Roy EllisPlease accept our deepest sympathy for the loss of your father.We are deeply saddened by your sudden loss. it was an honour to have known and worked with such a great person,who inspired so many with his knowledge and love for the great highland bagpipe.He will always be part of our hearts and minds,Archie will never be forgotten.May the love and comfort of friends and family bring comfort during this difficult time. Roy @ Shirley Ellis
Patrick PotterArchie will truly be missed. He touched all of us not only through his teaching and music but with his generosity and humour. As mentor, teacher and friend for 26 years, he helped me understand both music and life. Our family's sincere sympathies go out to Fiona.
Nancy Dymondmy deepest condolences, to you Fiona. Your father was a fine man, and will be deeply missed.
Shirley McCreeryOh Fiona, please accept my sincere sympathy for the loss of your Dad. He was a special person to so many of us. He achieved so much in his lifetime and will be missed by so many - in London and globally in the Piping Community. Please know that there are so many of us thinking of you Fiona.
Joan TurnerDear Fione, please be comforted by the numerous persons who will be keeping you in their thoughts and prayers as you say goodbye to your beloved Dad.
Gordon SimpsonI am very saddened at the news of Archie's passing. I have fond memories of our association in Petawawa with the 2nd Battalion, The Canadian Guards. He was a superb piper and did an outstanding job as Pipe Major. My deepest sympathies to his family.
Craig PayneMy condolences to the family of Major Cairns. I have many fond memories of Major Cairns from summer camps at Ipperwash to the Edinburgh tattoo in 1989. His guidance, leadership and love of music will not be forgotten.
Fred AldermanA truly sad day for the piping world. Major Cairns was my first Pipe Major with The Canadian Guards. Always a gentleman, and a leader in his field. My deepest condolences to all of his family
Curt EvansMy condolences to the family of Maj. Cairns. It can not be understated the influence Maj. Cairns had on an entire generation of youth during his time with the Cadet Instructor Cadre. He not only provided a learning environment for piping and drumming, but gave a lot of us valuable life skills that we continue to use today. He will truly be missed.
Wendy and Barry TwiggeFiona; Words cannot express what I felt last night as we read about your father's passing. Barry and I thought highly of him. Always fond memories of our time with the London Police Pipes and Drums. Think of them often. He will be missed greatly. Wendy and Barry
Ppiper JJ EasonI served with Archie in Germany and in Petawawa n Parliament Hill in Ottawa with the. 2nd Btn. Cdn. Guards Pipes n Drums and it was an honour to have learned my piping under his tutelage ! Sad news indeed ! A Mari Usque Ad Mare. Piper Joe Eason
Brenda PilleyArchie's passing will surely leave a huge void in our community. I met Archie over 20 years ago at CPRI where he showered love and support on the children through the London Police Pipes and Drums. His tremendous spirit of generosity, particularly to those less fortunate will always be remembered.
Byron BarnardFiona: many fond memories of your Dad while in Victoria. I was fortunate to get my early teaching from him. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Vancouver Island Piper's Club which is going stronger than ever as of this date.
Prof. Ronald Teague, PhD, ABPPWe have lost not only a great man but a musical genius. His ability to bring the spirit of the Great Highland Bagpipe to a world wide audience was unlike any other. He was able to effortlessly blend this traditional Scottish instrument with western symphonic music was unsurpassed and inspired. He was gracious to his students and had the unique ability to bring out 'all of the good music' in them. Many a student who had given up piping in despair of being able to master this difficult instrument were given joy and hope by his tuition. He will be missed, of course, but never forgotten. The music he wrote as well as the impressive instruction books that he created will continue to inspire generations of pipers. What he did was to humanize the playing of the Great Highland Bagpipe and make this thrilling music available to anyone who wanted to learn it. What a man, what a musician, what a piper. He can only be imitated never replaced
Janet and Robert BoydDear Fiona, Please know you are in our prayers during this very sad time. We will be joining you in spirit tomorrow morning, as you gather locally, there will be prayers and praises around the world for all of the goodness your father shared with so many friends and admirers. Much love, Robbie
Joe McGonigal, NewJerseyJohn, I wish you and loved ones strength at this sad time ; what a life, and now a sad passing. To his evergreen memory......."Flowers o' the Forest"....
Phillip BurkI offer my condolences to all remaining family members. Archie was a good friend and mentor, and he taught me much about playing the bagpipe, of which I still pass on to new students of such a fine instrument. Archie and I had many laughs together, and through him, I also made another good friend: John Cairns. I am saddened by his passing, but he lives in me through the remaining years of my life, not only by his teachings, but definitely his friendship. Something he told me, but was not mentioned, is that he was the first from the Americas to be inducted into the Piobaireachd Society. Archie, you are truely respected, and it was an honor to have you in my life.
Elizabeth SheridanFiona, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thinking so much of my own Dad at this time because of the friendship he shared with yours and the tremendous respect they had for each other. With my love and sympathy, Fiona. xo
Sqn Ldr Andrew Hart RAF (Ret’d)I am truly sad to hear the death of Major Archie Cairns, my sincere condolences to Fiona, John and their families. Archie was my first Pipe Major, in the London Police band, and made such a lasting impression that he set, for me, the standard of a Pipe Major. I am one of many pipers (& drummers) who owe a huge debt of gratitude to the highly successful leadership that he brought to the Army Cadet piping programme, and that he drove with amazing effort and dedication. I was privileged to serve as a cadet piper at Ipperwash in 1984-85 and was part of the National Cadet Pipe Band that Archie took to Estes Park, Colorado in September 1985.
Pipe Major Mike (Scotty) Durant (Ret'd)Was saddened to hear of the passing of Archie. He was very instrumental in my becoming a Pipe Major with the Canadian Forces. The world of piping has lost a great icon. Pipe Major Mike (Scotty) Durant and family
DDavidson PMaj ret'd RHFCArchie was a major influence in Military Piping in Canada, his efforts to improve the teaching and documentation of military pipe music was extraordinary! My sincere condolences to all his family.
LCol Hardy Wheeler (Ret'd)Over the years when I was Honorary Colonel of The Essex and Kent Scottish (2009-14) we made significant additions to our Regimental Manual concerned customs, dress and insignia. Maj (Ret'd) Archie Cairns provided many thoughtful contributions about piping, highland dress and military bands that will stand the test of time in a regiment that he never served. We have lost a man who gave so much to others. Our sincere condolences. Semper Paratus (Always Ready)
Tanya KellyFiona, so sorry for your loss. I feel very fortunate to have known your father. Such a kind, funny and generous man. I will miss my annual Christmas visit with him. Thinking of you.
Howie PierceA great piper: Cairns, MMM, CD (4), Major Archie has left us. We hear the mentor of many a piper playing the familiar strains of Scotland The Brave. The tune Piper Major Cairns sounded out for gatherings, We the soldiers marched in unison over the crushed stone and harden soils of many a nation in trouble Our Canadian Forces would head out behind Archie's pipes and drums, a most impressionable piper. To remain free, a people need something more basic - the spirit of liberty … always believing once you've lost that, there is no easy road back. Archie' was true to his creed we heard the Piper's Lament often, motivating the soldier as coffins were delivered to their final resting pace, or took the lead as a unit of Guardsmen moved into position… we will hear no more as both have taken the last order of the day “Dismissed”. As the sun follows its course disappearing for the last tune,“Amazing Grace” will forever remind us of your time with us. RIP Pipe Major Cairns. HowieP, Gdsm
Andy Cairns, P.Eng.Rest in peace Pipe Major Cairns.
Piper joe McloughlinMy condolence to the Cairns Family. Major Cairns was my first Pipe Major in The 2nd Battalion, The Canadian Guards. When I commence to start working with the Cadet Piping program 1999, Major Cairns was instrumental for my continuous to this day that I'm working with the Cadet program. I would call Major Cairns on numerous occasions for assistance, guidance and leadership so I could continue on with his high standard and influence to the young Pipers and Drummers in the Cadet Piping Program. I will miss him very much as he always a joke or something humours to chat to me about. The Piping World has lost a Great Icon to say the least. Rest In Peace my Friend. "A Mari Usque Ad Mare" Piper Joe McLoughlin
Iain SherwoodSo sad at hearing this news. Archie, you will be missed. You were the Grand Old Man of piping in North America, and there is no one to replace you. Godspeed my friend, I will think of you every time I teach from one of your many excellent books.
Col Rick Kennedy, Hon Col The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of CanadaOn behalf of all members of the regimental family of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Maj Archie Cairns. He served his country and this regiment with distinction. Albainn Gu Brath.
barb pascoeTo Bonnie, John and Fiona, I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your dad, my Uncle Archie. Funny I do remember the Christmas you all visited, even though we were all quite young. Archie sent me a book of his music. The song he did for Aunty Joy was amazing, he was a talented man. My thoughts are with you. Sending lots of love and hugs to you from Australia. xxxx
Colin MacLellanVery sad to hear of Major Cairns' passing. He was a very special friend to my father.
Joan AtchisonDear Fiona, Your Dad was a man of great honour and I feel privileged to have worked with him on various tasks related to the London Police Pipes and Drums. I was very sorry to hear of his passing and know that you will deeply miss him and so will many others. I have been away and am sorry to miss attending the Chapel in honour of such a great man. Sincere condolences, Joan & Ric Atchison
Maj Brian McCue - St. Andrew's CollegeMy sincerest condolences to the Cairns family. Maj Cairns was a tremendous mentor and he had a true impact on my life in the Cadet Instructors Cadre. I often reflect on his insightful wisdom and the patience he showed when sharing it with the junior officers at the Cen Region School of Pipes and Drums. He will be missed.
Lynne BurnettFiona I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. He was such a character and I always loved to see his smiling face at the movies. My condolences to you and the rest of your family.
Cass BayleyMy sincere condolences to Fiona, John and families. Major Cairns was a true gentleman and a great inspiration. I had the honour of working with him on the planning and execution of the London Tattoo for the City's bi-centennial. I learned more from Archie over those two years than I ever did before and he was extremely generous with his time and knowledge. I can imagine that he was a wonderful father and will be truly missed.
Mary and Rene LefebvreThinking of your family at this very sad time. A very sweet man.
Peter McDowellFiona and family, my deepest condolences. Archie was a true gentleman and a fine person. I will always value all that he taught me.
Stuart and Sharon Jeffrey and familyOur sympathy and condolences to all the family upon the passing of Archie. What a full life and rewarding career he had as soldier and piper par excellence. So many contributions and accomplishments to piping and the history of piping in the Canadian Forces. It was a pleasure and an honour to serve as a piper under his leadership and guidance when he was PM of the Air Command Pipes and Drums.
Mary& Frank ManleyFiona Sincere condolances on the recent death of your father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. Sincerely, Mary, Frank & Barbara Manley
Major Ruby A. Brydges, CD(2)When I started with the 26th Field Regiment RCA Pipes & Drums many years ago, I was not yet old enough to even join Army Cadets. When I did join Army Cadets, it was there that I first was introduced to music written by P/M A. Cairns. This was back in 1977. Since then, you cannot go anywhere in the Pipe Band world without bumping into Pipe Major Cairns' name or music. I have since played with many bands and continue to play even now being in the Regular Army. To Fiona and family, thank you for sharing your father with the rest of us. It has been truly and honour to have had such a talented gentleman in our midst to give so much of his time to further the love of pipe band music and instill it in others. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. But rest assured that he is up in heaven playing with the massed band that has been formed with other of our Pipe Band brethren who have gone on before us.
John (Bud) MoonIn 1956 Archie and I met for the first time in Hubbelrath in Germany. he was Pipe Major of the Canadian Guards and I, the Drum Major of the Scots Guards. We were practicing together, his Pipes & Drums, and mine, to take part in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo that year. We became immediate friends and thoroughly enjoyed that friendship although parted by many years and even more miles. We corresponded often and I assisted in providing a Drum-Majoring tape for Archie once he had taken over the Canadian Cadets. I was so impressed with his musicality, his composition skills and his firm but fair way of working with his charges. He will be sorely missed not only in the piping world but by all his friends and colleagues world-wide, and by his grieving family. This message of condolence is late in arriving but is a sincere sense of loss. My thanks are to Fiona for keeping in touch and for tending him at the end.
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