A seventh generation piper who played in three pipe bands – the 59th Highlanders, 154th and the S.D.&G. Highlanders, Angus Katie was born in Alexandria in 1891, the son of Angus and Katie McDonald. His grandfather was Jimmy McDonald, known as “Jimmy the Piper.” Angus Katie, as he was known, started pipe lessons at an early age from R. Neil MacVean. Due to his love of music, he practised and played at every opportunity, thus developing into a fine piper. At the age of seventeen, he was playing with the 59th Highlanders.
When MacVean moved to Lachine, Angus Katie took over the role as teacher. He taught the pipes to many who went on to become very dedicated and skilled pipers. Among his students were Bobby MacCrimmon who went on to play with the MacFarlane Pipe Band of St. Catherines and become a very sought after piping judge and Roger Martin who played with the Glengarry Pipe Band and led it as Pipe Major for four years with Peter MacInnes, who was also inducted in 2007.
During the 1930s, box lacrosse was a popular sport in Alexandria and in an effort to draw even more fans and to entertain those fans, Angus was asked to provide some pipers. Now Pipe Major Angus Katie, he led the small Greenfield band, known as the “Highland Society of Alexandria”. The band, made up of pipers Peter MacInnes, Roy MacDonell, Donald Kippen, John MacKinnon and some of his students and drummers, Angus Cameron and Paulie Lauzon, entertained large crowds at the lacrosse and hockey games in Alexandria, led parades, and played at concerts, parties and weddings. What developed were the beginnings of the first Glengarry Pipe Band.
Among other memorable events for Angus Katie were his performance for the King and Queen during their visit to Alexandria and his visit to Banff where he competed in the Banff Alta Scottish Festival in 1920 and 1930. Angus Katie McDonald was one of Alexandria’s favourite pipers, always willing to entertain and was well respected among his peers.