The 1962 Professional Competition was held at the Boys' High School, Holland Street, in January and was again confined to members. A total of 31 pipers entered and the playing was of a good standard so the restriction had little effect. The MSR competition for members was held at the Saturday evening meeting on March 10th with an entry of 19 pipers, all of whom finished their tunes. The winner was Iain MacFadyen, with Seumas MacNeill 2nd, Hector MacFadyen 3rd and Norman Gillies 4th. The College premises were used for the Amateur/Juvenile competitions during 1962. During the early months of 1962 the Association suffered three major losses. PM William Gray died in February and was followed by Archie McPhedran and Duncan MacFadyen in April. The funeral of Duncan MacFadyen at Cardonald cemetery was the biggest Highland funeral in Glasgow for many years. Five pipers, Hector MacFadyen, Pennyghael, Seumas MacNeill, Ronald Lawrie, Norman Gillies and Peter MacFarquhar played the Flowers of the Forest and Ronald Lawrie played the ground of the Lament for the Children.
The Veterans' competition was rather special due to the presence of John MacDonald from Bulawayo who had supported the competition from its beginning. 13 pipers played, two of them being over 80. There was one lady competitor, Mrs Hall from Dalkeith aged 74 who had already played in the event several times. The winner was PM Tom McAllister from Shotts, Lawrence MacIver was 2nd, David Munro 3rd and Angus Morrison 4th. The adjudicator was James Young.
In 1963 as always the year started with the Professional competition and this was held on 19th January in the Boys' High School. Again it was confined to members. At the 1963 AGM history was made with the election of Flora MacNeill as Secretary and the re-election of Dolina MacKay as Treasurer. For the first time these two important positions were held by ladies. The Hon President John MacDonald, Bulawayo was re-elected, the Hon Vice Presidents were Robert Reid and Hamish MacColl, John MacFadyen was again President and the vice presidents were Nicol MacCallum, Matt Sloan, Donald MacLean, Donald MacDonald and James Melvin. Peter MacLeod was again the composer and Hector MacFadyen was chosen as Pipe Major. The committee members elected were John Finlay, Donald MacLeod, Allan Beaton, Alex MacAskill, Thomas MacKay, John MacLachlan, David Munro, Peter MacFarquhar, James Russell, Ronald Lawrie, Ronald Morrison, Lawrence MacIver, Hector MacLean, Duncan MacFadyen, John Gibson, John Scott and D Cameron-Taylor. Lawrence MacIver's son, Lawrence junior had been a regular prize winner at the juvenile competitions in previous years.
On March 8th a dinner was held in the George Hotel where over 70 friends and admirers gathered to pay tribute to P M Robert Reid. The company was led into dinner by the Hon Pipe Major Hector MacFadyen and grace was said by Matt Sloan. After the meal Hamish MacColl paid tribute to PM Reid's prowess as a piper and to his work for the SPA and presented him with a scroll containing the names of all the members of the Scottish Pipers' Association. A selection was then played by Hector MacFadyen and Donald MacLeod. The toast to Robert Reid was proposed by Dr Kenneth MacKay and PM Reid replied, thanking everyone for the honour done him and giving an interesting account of some of the earlier history of the SPA. Seumas MacNeill proposed the toast to the Scottish Pipers' Association and John MacFadyen replied suitably. The rest of the function consisted of an informal and very enjoyable social evening.
The Members' contest in March 1963 was won by James Young, with Peter MacFarquhar 2nd, Iain MacFadyen 3rd and James MacGregor 4th.
1964 started with the first tie of the new Knockout competition on 11th January in the Highlanders' Institute, followed by the Professional contest at the High School on the 18th. This had an entry of 28 pipers. A new Trophy in memory of Duncan MacFadyen was awarded to the overall winner Donald MacLeod.
At the AGM the Hon President and Vice Presidents were re-elected. John MacFadyen was again elected President with Hector MacLean and Hector MacFadyen, Pennyghael as Vie Presidents. Dolina MacKay and Flora MacNeill continued in the offices of Treasurer and Secretary. Peter MacLeod was again the composer and James Young was elected as Pipe Major. The other committee members were Nicol MacCallum, Donald MacLeod, John Finlay, James Russell, Lawrence MacIver, Alex MacAskill, Tom MacKay and Captain Cameron Taylor.
The spring Amateur Juvenile competition was held in the College of Piping and was noteworthy as the winner of the John MacDougall Gillies trophy for piobaireachd was Donald Lindsay from New Jersey USA. This was the first time this major prize had gone to an overseas piper.
The sudden death of Donald MacLean, Lewis at the Cowal Games on August 29th was a big shock to the members of the Association. His funeral took place at Barvas, Isle of Lewis. In a short ceremony at Renfrew airport the Flowers of the Forest was played by four pipers, John MacLellan representing the army; James Young representing the Scottish Pipers' Association; Donald MacLeod, a lifelong friend; and Ronald Lawrie representing Glasgow City Police.
In the first Knockout series 12 pipers had taken part but the number was increased for the second series starting in September 1964. Consequently two ties were held each night in the preliminary round.
The SPA organised a special gathering at the Highlanders' Institute on 8th January to wish bon voyage to James Young and his wife who were leaving for South Africa. The early part of the evening was taken up with season's greetings and disposing of the libations which Lawrence MacIver so adequately dispensed. The short formal part of the evening began with speeches from John MacFadyen and Hamish MacColl, followed by the presentation of a kilt pin and brooch to Jimmy and May. Calum Robertson of the Oban Times then said a few words and he was followed by Seumas MacNeill who spoke on behalf of the professional pipers. The rest of the evening was an informal ceilidh with songs, dances and piping selections from John MacFadyen, Hector MacFadyen, John Burgess, Seumas MacNeill, Dugald Ferguson, Archie MacPhail and of course Jimmy Young himself. At the end of the Piping Times report there was a postscript saying 'James MacGregor was unable to be present, but sent his apologies and a bottle of whisky. Would that all others would do the same.'
The 1965 Professional Competition took place in January at the High School, with the Piobaireachd event starting at 10am. Previously competitions had been afternoon and evening events, perhaps because in the earlier years many people had to work on Saturday mornings. There was an entry of 23 pipers and it was reported that the audience was sparse until after lunch. The new trophy in memory of Duncan MacFadyen was awarded to John MacFadyen the overall winner.
A dinner had by now become an annual event and in 1965 one was held in the Bath Hotel on 11th March. Only one formal speech was permitted, and this was given by Calum Robertson of the Oban Times. There were piping selections from Archie MacPhail and Ronald Lawrie and songs from Hector MacFadyen, John MacFadyen and Seumas MacNeill. Two well known piping judges remarked, quite independently, afterwards that Hector MacFadyen and Seumas MacNeill were better singers than they were pipers. Seumas decided to take this as a compliment but could not decide whether they meant that John MacFadyen was a great piper or a dreadful singer. Particularly welcome was Robert Reid, fit again after a spell in hospital and it was on this occasion that he made his famous remark that the three worst things in his lifetime were the First World War, the Second World War and the six weeks he spent in Robroyston Hospital. Everyone was glad to see that he had recovered from the third just as well as he recovered from the first two. A special round of applause was given to Mr and Mrs Nicol MacCallum who were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary that night. Robert Reid's sudden death from a heart attack at his home on 31st August came as great shock to everyone. His funeral procession to Daldowie Crematorium was led by Archie MacPhail representing the Scottish Pipers' Association and playing the Flowers of the Forest. This was followed by the ground of the Lament for the Children.
1966 began as usual with the Professional competition at the High School in January. Winner of the overall prize this year was Hector MacFadyen. The annual dinner took place at the Bath Hotel again in March and the other regular events continued as before, with the members' competition also in March, Amateur Juvenile competitions in May at the Highlanders' Institute and in November at the College of Piping, the Veterans in September and the regular club nights each Saturday evening which also included the popular Knockout.
There were now such a large number of piping competitions and other events that there had been several clashes of dates so in 1966 the SPA, because they ran more competitions than any other organisation, called a meeting of competition organisers to discuss a list of dates. Unfortunately this turned out to be a complete failure as apart from the SPA not one of the invited organisations attended.
At the Amateur competition in November at the College of Piping there was such a large entry that despite a prompt start at 2pm the competition did not finish until 11.15pm and would not have finished on the same day it began if one event, the jig, had not been omitted entirely.
The 1967 Professional Competition was held in January, with John MacFadyen again taking the Duncan MacFadyen Memorial trophy for most points. This was followed by all the regular events during the year. At the October Amateur competition the entry was so large that it was found to be necessary to run events simultaneously in order to get through the programme.
The 1968 Professional competition moved to a new venue, the Woodside Halls. The chairman for the day was Major General Frank Richardson and he introduced the two judges as Donald Mor and Donald Beag, i.e. Donald R MacLennan and Donald MacLeod. Principal prizes went to the MacFadyens, Hector winning the piobaireachd and John the Strathspey and Reel, but with seconds in the other two events John was again the winner of the trophy in memory of his father. First in the March went to James McIntosh.
In 1964 and 1966 Flora MacNeill continued as the Secretary and Dolina MacKay as the Treasurer. Hector MacFadyen became Secretary in 1967 and 1968 but resigned during 1968 for domestic reasons and his successor Archie MacPhail passed away suddenly on 2nd November 1968. Archie had been born at Lagaveilin in Islay on 15th September 1918, just over 50 years previously. He played with the Clan MacRae band in the 1940s and was a consistent winner in solo competitions. A trophy in his memory is still presented annually at the Amateur Juvenile competition. At the 1969 AGM Andrew Wright took over as Secretary. The other main officials continued as before.
The 1969 Professional Competition was again at the Woodside Halls and was held on 1st February. This was a unique event in the history of piping as a radical new judging system designed by John MacFadyen was used. To encourage pipers to take part the prize money was increased significantly. There were five judges, Peter Bain, Hector MacLean, John MacLellan, Donald MacLeod and Alfred Morrison. Each sat at a separate table and at the end of each performance held up a card with their mark. The top and bottom marks were ignored in the first instance and the other three marks were averaged. In the event of a tie the top marks were taken into consideration and if there was still a tie the bottom marks were to be used. The competition was acclaimed as an outstanding success and the audience obviously revelled in the opportunity to calculate the mark of each player as each event progressed. In the past all the listeners could do was wonder how on earth the decision had been reached, but now they could see clearly exactly how each player had been marked. One great advantage, which was very noticeable, was that there were fewer complaints about the results and this was probably because everyone knew in considerable detail how the decisions had been arrived at. The Piping Times said of the competition, 'A big round of congratulations is in order to the SPA for having the courage to break away from tradition, and a special thanks should be expressed to the competitors who risked all to make the experiment possible. The biggest thanks however are due to the five judges, who had the bravery to stand up and be counted. Without men displaying such courage this milestone in the history of piping competitions could never have been reached.' The full tables showing the marks given by each judge for each of the competitors were printed in the Piping Times. The results for the Piobaireachd were 1st Hector MacFadyen, 2nd John Garroway, 3rd Iain MacFadyen, 4th Angus J MacLellan. In the March the result was 1st Hector MacFadyen, 2nd Angus J MacLellan, 3rd Ian McLellan, 4th Iain MacFadyen. The Strathspey and Reel result was 1st Iain Morrison, 2nd Ian McLellan, 3rd Iain MacFadyen, 4th Angus J MacLellan.
At the 1969 Veterans competition mention was made of the competition founders Robert Reid and John MacDonald, Bulawayo, both of whom had now passed away.
At the first committee meeting of the New Year, on 14th January 1970 the Professional competition was discussed. A new venue, the Kingston Halls had been booked. John MacFadyen was keen to continue with the card system used in the previous year but others were against this. A vote was taken and out of the nine members present 3 voted for the card system and 4 voted for the old two judge system. Other matters discussed were the 50th Anniversary dinner and a proposal to change the Club night to Wednesday as the noise from the dance in the hall below had become a problem. It was decided that a vote on this would be taken at the next meeting.