Thursday, April 21, 2011



We have been informed of the passing of Lewis Turrell in Auckland, New Zealand on the 21st April 2011 after a long battle with lung cancer. A sad loss for piping in this part of the world. Lewis was a much loved character and friend to all he met. A pupil of William Kennedy, George McLennan and PM Donald McLeod M.B.E. Lewis rose to legendary status in 1958 when he won the Gold Medal at Inverness playing the "Rout of the MacPhees" (the first overseas competitor to do so). On that day he also won the Strathspeys and Reels, the Jig and was second in the March. He has been Pipe Major of the Invercargill and Wellington Pipe Bands and has made such a huge impact on piping in New Zealand. Lewis will be sadly missed by all.


  1. Ka tangi te titi, ka tangi te kaka, ka tangi hokia ahau, Tii Hei Mauri ora.
    E mihi ana ahau ki te Matua nui I te Rangi,
    Ki te rangatira e te kete paepa nui i o te Queen Elizabeth I. Vale Lewis Turrell MBE,
    Moe, moe, moe mai ra ki te kainga o te Atua.
    No reira te hunga mate ki te hunga mate, te hunga ora ki te hunga ora.
    Ki te whanau i o Lewis, ki te whanau whanui e hau e wha, a mihi ana ahau e koutou.
    Not as a translation of Maori but as an explaination on my mihi (greetings) to all of us whom had the great pleasure of knowing Lewis
    The Titi crys, The Kaka crys, I cry also..I sneeze life into this world.
    Firstly I greet acknowledge our creator in heaven.
    I greet our great Chief and Bagpiper to including Queen Elizabeth I, rest, rest, rest in peace in the house of our lord.
    The dead to the dead, the living to the living, let us join the lines of men.
    To the family of Lewis, my thoughts and prayers are with you, and to the extended families of the four winds, I acknowledge you all whom are grieving for the loss of such a great, kind,and wonderfully blessed natured man, whom was always smiling, always caring, and sharing his wealth of knowledge to us in the piping community,as well as his generousity and kindness, that was a true inspiration to me.
    I had only known Lewis for a few years after coming home from the States, and as a newbie adult learner piper, I had the dream come true trip of playing at Edinburgh Castle for the Tattoo in 2009. Struggling with tunes prior to leaving I was also having water issues with my pipes, and called into House of Scotland where I met Lewis.
    He helped reset my pipes and gave me some great tips on how to try and improve my playing as well. When I came back from Scotland I couldn't wait to tell him of my experiences there, only to find he was shutting shop, but never said why.
    I came to learn also of his connection to the Waipu Caledonian Society where I am connected to the region through our Marae not far from there. Thankfully I had the chance to have one last wee dram with Lewis on New Years Day there. We laughed and I enjoyed that last chance meeting. I knew he had been ill and I asked him how his cancer was?
    He smiled, and said "I just take each day as it comes,as I always have...."
    Lewis you will sadly missed by us all.
    No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena ra koutou katoa. Therefore greetings, greetings, greetings to us all.
    BJ Chetham

  2. A true gentleman and friend at rest.
    Lex Calder
    Auckland Police Pipe Band