Town award for its piping hot major ...

Walter Anderson. Pic: FPA
Walter Anderson. Pic: FPA

Walter Anderson, from Burntisland, is probably best known as the town’s former pipe major, a role he played, on and off, for around 25 years.

But as well as having a lot of puff, he has also made his mark on his beloved adopted hometown in many other ways, and it is the whole package which led to Walter being named this year’s Burntisland Community Award winner by Burntisland Community Council.

Walter (80), of Kinghorn Road, was instrumental in founding the Rotary Club of Burntisland and Kinghorn which was established in 1982 by himself and a group of close acquaintances at the request of the Kirkcaldy Rotary Club president.

In its 32-year history he has served in many different roles in the club and continues to be a strong member today.

And he is an even longer-serving member of the Burntisland Erskine Church where he has been an elder and regular attendee for 40 years.

Walter became involved with the pipe band soon after he arrived in Burntisland in 1970 with wife Lilian. He had learned the bagpipes as a youngster and was pipe major with Aberdeen University’s band where he studied.

He led the band to various trophies during the 70s, 80s and early 90s and every year when it played at the Highland Games and led the Civic Week Parade. He retired from his post in the late 90s.

After retiring as Fife education service’s principal educational psychologist, he continued to play the pipes, working for an agency and attending many high profile events and functions, and still gives free tuition to youngsters in the town.

In 1995 he helped organise a celebration in the town to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day, and was chairman of Burntisland Leisure and Swimming Trust which helped bring the Beacon Leisure Centre to the town.

“When Alex MacDonald (chairman of the community council) came to my door I was just flabbergasted and delighted,” Walter told the Press.

“I didn’t expect it at all and I just love being a part of all I’m involved in in Burntisland.”

Mr MacDonald said: “Whether as a key person in Burntisland Pipe Band, as an elder in Erskine Church, or a founder member of the Rotary Club, Walter’s service has been truly outstanding.

“He has inspired countless youngsters to learn the pipes, showing the patience and enthusiasm of someone who is an outstanding performer in his own right.

“However, his true contribution to the community extends over a much wider sphere, constantly working in the background to bring fresh ideas and a fresh perspective. To take only one example, Walter was a staunch supporter of the group that blazed the trail for a new swimming pool in Burntisland.

“He is a truly multi-talented and inspired individual who seeks only the very best for his community and strives endlessly for that purpose.”