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DONALD ALEXANDER MORRISON  Obituary pic DONALD ALEXANDER MORRISON  Obituary pic DONALD ALEXANDER MORRISON  Obituary pic DONALD ALEXANDER MORRISON  Obituary pic

DONALD ALEXANDER MORRISON

Date of Passing: Oct 08, 2017

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DONALD ALEXANDER MORRISON November 15, 1926 October 8, 2017 Peacefully, Donald Morrison slipped away in the early morning, surrounded by his family. In the course of almost 91 years, Don touched a great many lives with his laughter, charisma, musicianship and wisdom. He is survived by the love of his life, wife Rose; daughters, Catherine (Howard), Carolyn, Colleen (Mark); son Colin; special niece Sandi Mitchell and numerous other nieces, nephews and grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, James and Dolina; brothers, Colin and James; sister Ishbel; son-in-law Al Dalton; and daughter-in-law Maria Kucher. Don grew up in the West End of Winnipeg and, with his father a teamster, had a lifelong fondness for the "heavy" horses. Losing his father in a tragic accident at age 12, Don had to grow up early as the family struggled in the hard times of the Depression. His father had started teaching him the Highland bagpipes at age nine, and this would be one of the defining aspects of Don's life. He began playing with the Cameron Cadet Pipe Band even prior to reaching the minimum age for joining (12), and played with them until he was 19, leaving as Pipe Major. Piping, Minto Armouries and his Cameron buddies were the formative influences in his adolescence. He joined the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders Reserve as a 17 year old and maintained a life-long association with the Camerons and their Pipe Band. In 1947, he joined the Winnipeg Police Force and immediately joined the Police Pipe Band. Don went on to be a member of the Police Force for 39 and one half years (retiring as Acting Superintendent) and incredibly, a member of the Pipe Band for 53 years (18 years as Pipe Major). During his busy years as a police officer and as a member of the Police Pipe Band, Don was also father to a young family. He juggled shift work, piping and home commitments, all while serving as the band instructor of the Cameron Cadet Pipe Band, a position he held for 20 years (retiring as a Captain in the Reserve Army). Piping and drumming lessons were delivered in his home basement to anyone with an interest and willing to practice free of charge. Don believed in passing on the craft, as he himself had been the beneficiary of legendary instructors such as Doug Will and Sandy Cameron, and many former students became his fellow band members. Long before trips for young people became somewhat routine, Don took his Cadet Band to Texas to compete, even supervising Grade 12 Departmental examinations en route so everyone could attend. The Band did well, achieving international honours and Don, competing individually, won the North American competition. At the same time, the Police Pipe Band was one of the finest Pipe Bands in North America and travelled extensively throughout the Continent. In 1960, Don was chosen as the solo piper accompanying the Pine to Palm Tour, a three bus campaign comprised of prominent politicians, business owners, and press promoting tourism and commerce along the route from Winnipeg to New Orleans. This culminated with Don being made an honorary citizen of New Orleans. Don was selected as Pipe Major of a Massed Military Band comprised of Reserve Army and Cadet Band members that played at the Hemisfair in San Antone, Texas. He was Pipe Major of the 200 member Massed Pipe and Drum Band of Winnipeg for the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena. Don was also the designated piper for innumerable official functions and played for Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Lieutenant Governors, Prime Ministers, Provincial Premiers and Mayors. He also played at the Dieppe Reunion in France in 1983, after which he was able to visit his brother Colin's grave in Sage, Germany, where Colin had been shot down in one of the last raids of the Second World War. His enthusiasm never waned and in 1992 he founded the ANAVET #283 Legion Pipe Band, which continues on to this day. Don continued playing and in his last competition in 1993 at 66 years of age, he took 1st prize in the Masters category at the Fergus Highland Games To put those achievements in perspective however, a listing of Don's many other awards and acknowledgments is required. He was a graduate of the Canadian Police College Executive Development Course in Ottawa in 1981. In 1984, he received the Police Exemplary Service Medal for the second time. In 1985, he was made an Honorary Director of the Minneapolis Police Concert Band, followed in 1986 by a Certificate of Appreciation from the Minneapolis Police Department and Honorary Citizenship from the City of Minneapolis. In 1986, he received a City of Winnipeg Community Award, the Tourism Manitoba Good Citizenship Award, and the Tourism Ambassador Certificate Award from the Government of Canada. He was the recipient of the Canadian Forces Decoration Medal (CD), the Canadian Police Service Medal and Bar for 39 and one half years service. Don was also an Honorary Life Member of the St. Andrews Society and the recipient of the Lord Strathcona Award in 2005. He had been a lifetime member of the Robbie Burns Camp of the Sons of Scotland and a member of the Order of Masons. In 2013, Don received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal. Don was also intensely interested in politics and history and virtually never missed a day reading the newspaper or watching the news on television. He was an avid reader and, until just a couple of weeks ago, was still reading three to four books weekly. He could equally discuss the antecedents of the First World War or the re-opening of Portage and Main! Don was someone who must also be remembered as the life of the party. A self-taught piano and accordion player, he could play almost any tune from just a title or the humming of a few bars. He sang, he danced, and had friends from every walk of life literally from across the globe. There was another side of him too though, and this was his humanity something almost palpable you could feel when you were with him. He loved his family, taking pride in their achievements and development as they became young adults. That warmth extended too to animals, and he loved his dogs. While slightly cynical, as you might expect after 39 plus years as a police officer, he never lost a belief in the basic goodness of people, nor indeed in the greatness of this city, province and country, though the Winnipeg Jets did vex him from time to time. Don was intensely proud of his Scottish heritage, but equally proud to be Canadian. He left as a proud Scot and a true Canadian. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 14 at 1:00 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church, 61 Picardy Pl. (Portage Ave. and Canora - east of Vimy Ridge Park).
Publish Date: Oct 13, 2017

DONALD ALEXANDER MORRISON November 15, 1926 October 8, 2017 Peacefully, Donald Morrison slipped away in the early morning, surrounded by his family. In the course of almost 91 years, Don touched a great many lives with his laughter, charisma, musicianship and wisdom. He is survived by the love of his life, wife Rose; daughters, Catherine (Howard), Carolyn, Colleen (Mark); son Colin; special niece Sandi Mitchell and numerous other nieces, nephews and grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, James and Dolina; brothers, Colin and James; sister Ishbel; son-in-law Al Dalton; and daughter-in-law Maria Kucher. Don grew up in the West End of Winnipeg and, with his father a teamster, had a lifelong fondness for the "heavy" horses. Losing his father in a tragic accident at age 12, Don had to grow up early as the family struggled in the hard times of the Depression. His father had started teaching him the Highland bagpipes at age nine, and this would be one of the defining aspects of Don's life. He began playing with the Cameron Cadet Pipe Band even prior to reaching the minimum age for joining (12), and played with them until he was 19, leaving as Pipe Major. Piping, Minto Armouries and his Cameron buddies were the formative influences in his adolescence. He joined the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders Reserve as a 17 year old and maintained a life-long association with the Camerons and their Pipe Band. In 1947, he joined the Winnipeg Police Force and immediately joined the Police Pipe Band. Don went on to be a member of the Police Force for 39 and one half years (retiring as Acting Superintendent) and incredibly, a member of the Pipe Band for 53 years (18 years as Pipe Major). During his busy years as a police officer and as a member of the Police Pipe Band, Don was also father to a young family. He juggled shift work, piping and home commitments, all while serving as the band instructor of the Cameron Cadet Pipe Band, a position he held for 20 years (retiring as a Captain in the Reserve Army). Piping and drumming lessons were delivered in his home basement to anyone with an interest and willing to practice free of charge. Don believed in passing on the craft, as he himself had been the beneficiary of legendary instructors such as Doug Will and Sandy Cameron, and many former students became his fellow band members. Long before trips for young people became somewhat routine, Don took his Cadet Band to Texas to compete, even supervising Grade 12 Departmental examinations en route so everyone could attend. The Band did well, achieving international honours and Don, competing individually, won the North American competition. At the same time, the Police Pipe Band was one of the finest Pipe Bands in North America and travelled extensively throughout the Continent. In 1960, Don was chosen as the solo piper accompanying the Pine to Palm Tour, a three bus campaign comprised of prominent politicians, business owners, and press promoting tourism and commerce along the route from Winnipeg to New Orleans. This culminated with Don being made an honorary citizen of New Orleans. Don was selected as Pipe Major of a Massed Military Band comprised of Reserve Army and Cadet Band members that played at the Hemisfair in San Antone, Texas. He was Pipe Major of the 200 member Massed Pipe and Drum Band of Winnipeg for the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena. Don was also the designated piper for innumerable official functions and played for Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Lieutenant Governors, Prime Ministers, Provincial Premiers and Mayors. He also played at the Dieppe Reunion in France in 1983, after which he was able to visit his brother Colin's grave in Sage, Germany, where Colin had been shot down in one of the last raids of the Second World War. His enthusiasm never waned and in 1992 he founded the ANAVET #283 Legion Pipe Band, which continues on to this day. Don continued playing and in his last competition in 1993 at 66 years of age, he took 1st prize in the Masters category at the Fergus Highland Games To put those achievements in perspective however, a listing of Don's many other awards and acknowledgments is required. He was a graduate of the Canadian Police College Executive Development Course in Ottawa in 1981. In 1984, he received the Police Exemplary Service Medal for the second time. In 1985, he was made an Honorary Director of the Minneapolis Police Concert Band, followed in 1986 by a Certificate of Appreciation from the Minneapolis Police Department and Honorary Citizenship from the City of Minneapolis. In 1986, he received a City of Winnipeg Community Award, the Tourism Manitoba Good Citizenship Award, and the Tourism Ambassador Certificate Award from the Government of Canada. He was the recipient of the Canadian Forces Decoration Medal (CD), the Canadian Police Service Medal and Bar for 39 and one half years service. Don was also an Honorary Life Member of the St. Andrews Society and the recipient of the Lord Strathcona Award in 2005. He had been a lifetime member of the Robbie Burns Camp of the Sons of Scotland and a member of the Order of Masons. In 2013, Don received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal. Don was also intensely interested in politics and history and virtually never missed a day reading the newspaper or watching the news on television. He was an avid reader and, until just a couple of weeks ago, was still reading three to four books weekly. He could equally discuss the antecedents of the First World War or the re-opening of Portage and Main! Don was someone who must also be remembered as the life of the party. A self-taught piano and accordion player, he could play almost any tune from just a title or the humming of a few bars. He sang, he danced, and had friends from every walk of life literally from across the globe. There was another side of him too though, and this was his humanity something almost palpable you could feel when you were with him. He loved his family, taking pride in their achievements and development as they became young adults. That warmth extended too to animals, and he loved his dogs. While slightly cynical, as you might expect after 39 plus years as a police officer, he never lost a belief in the basic goodness of people, nor indeed in the greatness of this city, province and country, though the Winnipeg Jets did vex him from time to time. Don was intensely proud of his Scottish heritage, but equally proud to be Canadian. He left as a proud Scot and a true Canadian. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 14 at 1:00 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church, 61 Picardy Pl. (Portage Ave. and Canora - east of Vimy Ridge Park).
Publish Date: Oct 13, 2017

DONALD ALEXANDER MORRISON Peacefully, on October 8, 2017, Donald passed away. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church, 61 Picardy Place, Portage Avenue and Canora (east of Vimy Ridge Park). A longer obituary will follow in Friday's Free Press.
Publish Date: Oct 12, 2017

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 13, 2017

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • My condolences to Rose and Family. I have early and life long fond memories of my Dad’s (Tom Smith) long friendship with Don ,with the bands and their love of the pipes. Rest In Peace Donald. - Posted by: Jordan and Gloria Anastasiadis ((Daughter of Tom Smith -lifelong friend and bandmate of Donald)) on: Oct 17, 2017

  • Carolyn, I was so sorry to read of your dad's passing. I have many fond memories. Much love to you and the rest of your family. Cathy Funnell - Posted by: Cathy (Freind) on: Oct 16, 2017

  • My Dad, Tom Smith, who passed away in 2009, was in the Police PipeBand & Cameron Highlanders w/ Donald & they were very good friends as well! Don was a very friendly man & I can remember him coming over during my childhood & always so funny & nice.... he also played my Dad’s pipes @ his funeral which was very special. So sorry to hear of Don’s passing & send my condolences to his family. RIP Don! - Posted by: Janice Smith Anderson (Daughter of Tom Smith—friend +!bandmate of Don’s) on: Oct 15, 2017

  • Our family always looked so forward to a visit from Uncle Don. He and my Dad (his older brother Jim) would tell stories and laugh until tears ran down their cheeks and then they would head downstairs to entertain us all evening playing Dad's piano. Uncle Don often brought his bagpipes along for the visit and would rouse the neighbours with some early morning songs as he marched around the farm. Such wonderful memories of a kind, generous and fun-loving man. Rest in peace Uncle Don. - Posted by: Patty Morrison (Niece) on: Oct 13, 2017

  • Don, so nice to have been part of your life for 50 odd years. You always made my day at band practice when you went to work teaching us by getting the band into shape. You were my inspiration. I recall the day in 1969 when you walked me down the hall to introduce me to the Personnel Inspector. The rest is history. Rest in Peace my friend. Bruce. - Posted by: A.B. Taylor (Friend) on: Oct 13, 2017

  • I offer you my deepest condolences on Don's passing. Don was a very special man. Like many others, my Pipe Band life would not have lasted as long, or been as fulfilling as it has been, without Don. He will truly be missed. - Posted by: Greg Flom () on: Oct 13, 2017

  • Don was one of a kind! He was a fine piper and teacher to many now accomplished pipers. Don was a man of many talents, accordion, piano, singing not to forget his piping and his amazing ability to maintain discipline and at the same time have the respect of those he taught. Don had an incredible way of entertaining folks with his many talents. I have a great respect for Don and will miss him very much. Rose please know you and your family are in our thoughts at this trying time. I only wish I could be there for Don's service. Rest well my friend, best wishes and fond memories of the past. Jack Reay and Elaine Bolter. - Posted by: Jack Reay (Friend and fellowBand member with Wpg. Police Pipe Band) on: Oct 13, 2017

  • My deepest condolences to you Rose, and the Family. Don was fantastic teacher, a true gentleman and my mentor over many years. He was a source of inspiration to me during the most formative part of my Piping life, both as a solo competitor, with the Camerons and the Police Pipe Band. I also remember him through my parents, Joe and Jane, and the many 'Ceilidhs' where Don displayed his many musical talents. My mother was greatly saddened to hear this news and passes along her deepest regards. You will be sadly missed Don, but forever in our hearts. Thank you for all that you were. - Posted by: Dale Whitham () on: Oct 13, 2017

  • Don has been an inspiration to me. He and Rose are key factors to whom our children have grown to be. I am so much better for having known him. - Posted by: Howard Skrypnyk (Son in law) on: Oct 13, 2017

  • Donny was a very humble, gentle and non assuming soul. I have known him since the 60's through the Camerons , the Scottish Community and piping. I remember running into him at Deer Lodge Hospital when he was in his mid eighties. He was in full dress and playing his pipes for the infirmed Vets assembled for their Remembrance Day Service, something he told me he had done for over 34 years. Thank you for helping Don out to the Levees last January 1st so we could all enjoy his positive aura one last time. He set the bar very high for us all. - Posted by: Don Comack (Friend) on: Oct 13, 2017

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