Bob Burnie

2010 Jun

Bob BurnieIn February, 1975, Bob joined the Brigadoons with Rob Taylor, Gaye Leroux and Brian McDonell. Through the years, the group gained popularity in Glengarry and the outlying areas. They played throughout SD&G counties as well as Ottawa and the surrounding areas. They also travelled throughout New York State and even up to the Canadian Army base in Alert to entertain the troops, a highlight of Bob’s time with the Brigadoons. Unfortunately, he was unable to balance police work and the commitment to the band and had to leave.

In 1981, Bob joined the Cornwall Police Band whose main focus was Celtic music and for three years they continued to play in Glengarry and surrounding locals for many charitable events. The Police Band folded in 1984 and Bob joined with Gaye Leroux, well-known fiddler, Gerry O’ Neil and his partner, Vince Griffin to form the group, McMartin Fiddle. The group played for several years and again, its main focal point was playing for the people of Glengarry County.

Shortly after McMartin Fiddle broke up, Bob connected with Gary “Ducky” McDonald and the duo known as “Bob and Ducky” began to perform together and today, they continue to do so.

Bob has a thirty-three year history with Glengarry; with Ducky, he has played at parties, weddings, New Year’s Balls, St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the Maxville Highland Games, St. Andrew’s Tartan Balls, the Williamstown Fairs, St. Raphael’s Galarama and many other charitable events. In addition, he participated in several trips to the shows put on by the Glengarry Club of Ottawa at the National Arts Centre and Centrepoint Theatre. Bob and Ducky have become well known and much in demand. The duo is now playing at 25th anniversary celebrations for couples for whom they played at their wedding.

One of the most memorable accomplishments for Bob came in 1997 when he was asked to sing the American National Anthem for a Blue Jays’ game at the Sky Dome in Toronto. The International Special Olympics Committee was looking for a police officer from Ontario to sing the anthem at their opening ceremonies. As a result of having played with the Brigadoons and the Police Band, local representatives from the Special Olympics submitted his name and he was fortunate enough to be selected to perform. Bob feels strongly that had he not gained recognition by entertaining in and around Glengarry, this opportunity would not have come his way.

Bob feels strong ties to Glengarry and feels enjoys performing and “connecting” with the people of Glengarry and particularly the many friendships he has garnered.

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