Archie Dewar Memorial Trophy
The Archie Dewar Memorial Trophy is awarded in memory of Toronto area piper Archie Dewar, a native of Scotland who had a great influence on the Toronto Pipe Band scene, and was a founding member of the current Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario. The Toronto Branch first awarded the trophy in 2001 to the winner of a Professional Knockout series. The trophy is now awarded to the winner of an A Division Amateur March, Strathspey and Reel contest held each year in February as part of the Knockout series.
The following is a biography submitted by Pipe Major Sandy Dewar, son of Archie Dewar. Photos submitted by P/M Sandy Dewar and Jim McGillivray (pipetunes.ca).
Archie Dewar was born in 1910 to Robert and Marion Dewar in Bridge of Weir, Scotland. He was one of seven children. In 1926, Archie, his mother and three brothers and sisters emigrated to Canada.
In 1928, he enlisted into the 48th Highlanders of Canada and began taking pipe lessons from Pipe Major James Fraser, formerly of the Gordon Highlanders.
Archie served with the 48th Highlanders from 1928 until his retirement in 1965, and served overseas from 1939 to 1945. While in Holland, he was appointed Pipe Major of the 48th Highlanders Overseas Battalion in 1945. Upon his return to Canada at the end of World War 2, he reverted back to Pipe Sergeant under Pipe Major Fraser. In 1952, he was appointed Pipe Major and served in this capacity until 1965.
During Archie’s tenure as Pipe Major, the 48th Highlanders Pipe Band was one of the top competing bands in Canada. It won six North American Championships, and had a two year unbeaten streak in 1956 and 1957.
In 1947, Archie was instrumental in helping form the Ontario Pipers Society, now known as the Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario. The organization’s first meeting took place in the 48th Highlanders Sergeants’ Mess in Toronto.
Archie taught a great many students who not only played with the 48th Highlanders, but in numerous other bands as well.
The Dewar family now has a long history with the 48th Highlanders. Archie and his three brothers all served in the regiment at various times. His son Sandy served for 45 years, including 23 years as Pipe Major of the band. His nephew Robert also served, and all of Archie’s three grandsons currently serve with the 48th.