Exhibit, Colborne Recreation Trumpet Band & Baton Corps brochure, front & back
Exhibit, Colborne Recreation Trumpet Band & Baton Corps brochure, centre left
With the arrival of his talented sister, Maude, in the spring of 1955, Bob focussed his attention upon another recreational undertaking. His sister's skills as a baton twirler served as an example for 40 local girls between the ages of 7 and 16. While the boys practised baseball on the new diamond, the girls gathered at Victoria Square Park to learn their twirling skills under Maude's tutelage. The girls were all thrilled with their red cotton skirts and white blouses, socks, and shoes.
More fundraising brought the uniforms and batons for everyone who wanted to participate. Maude left at the end of the summer and five senior girls - Karen Summers, Penny Cooke, Marilyn Young, Karen VanMeeuwen, and Arlis McLaughlin - took over. They were taught by Barbara Diament of Belleville.
Exhibit, Colborne Recreation Trumpet Band & Baton Corps brochure, centre right
During the lessons the girls were divided into five groups and taught their routines. The boys had the opportunity to learn an instrument of their choice for the band. The band marched with the baton corps. The band under the direction of Bob Perry, a music director from the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, met two or three nights a week. Colborne was very noisy that fall because the boys took their instruments home to practice.
A request for donations from various local companies was issued and funds for new uniforms and equipment was collected. The Colborne and Baton Corps debuted their brand new royal blue and gold uniforms in the town's Santa Claus parade later that year. The Corps' first big engagement came with the invitation to perform at the opening day parade for the Toronto Maple Leaf baseball game. Unfortunately, a rain delay resulted in a cancellation of their performance, but for the next seven years, the Corps were a favourite with Toronto crowds.
Colborne Recreation Trumpet Band & Baton Corps brochure
Bob's influence was clearly evident when the Rose Bowl Parade invited the Corps to Pasadena in 1957. Everyone in Colborne that summer and fall were caught up in the excitement. Unexpected circumstances caused the Corps to withdraw, however. One of the prerequisites of marching in the parade was that the group must have a minimum of 72 members. The Corps had 76 members, but several parents of the seven-year-olds were understandably uncomfortable with the distance and separation. The Corps could not meet the minimum number required and the event was cancelled.