Glenrothes man pipes his way to success

John (Jock the Piper) Roarty. Glenrothes man who now lives in Austrailia and is a full-time piper.
John (Jock the Piper) Roarty. Glenrothes man who now lives in Austrailia and is a full-time piper.

A GLENROTHES man has told the Gazette how much he enjoys doing his hobby as a full-time job on the other side of the world, reports KEVIN QUINN.

Piper John Roarty moved down under in January 2009 to work with the Western Australia Police Force as a Band Officer. Earlier this month they won their first ever Australian Pipe Band Championships, held in Ballarat, Victoria.

John is loving life thousands of miles away from Fife in his new home of Perth, Western Australia.

He said: “Having the opportunity to do my hobby as a full-time job was too good an opportunity to pass down, despite how far away it is from my friends and family.

“Life down under is fantastic. We live at a seaside suburb called Scarborough- a 10 minute walk to the Indian Ocean. The weather is obviously the biggest selling point, but it lends itself to a great lifestyle!

“The culture seems to be more family orientated and at every park there are free, council-supplied barbecues.”

John explained that his main job in public relations for the WA Police is to perform at schools and give brief talks to the pupils. When not doing this he can be seconded to other departments and is currently working in the public affairs communications team. His uniform is the same as the police officers, although his bottom half is a kilt of course!

John underlined how big the pipe band title was for his new employers, given their location in the vast country of Australia.

He said: “Winning the title was amazing! Especially with it being the first time that the band has won the title.

“This is the first major competition the band has taken part in since I arrived in Australia, mainly due to the cost incurred to travel to any competition.

“Perth is the most isolated city in the world, and in order to travel to the Eastern States where most of the competitions take place costs the band in excess of $35,000.”

Life will soon get even better for John, with Crieff-born wife Morag expecting their first child in June. John added: “Our plan is to stay here forever and give our child the opportunities it may not have in Scotland. Although Scotland is where our heart is and where our family and friends reside, bringing a child up here just makes so much more sense.”