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Canadian History
Nathan T. Brown, Sr. and Family

Nathan T. Brown, Sr. - My Own Scottish Journey

Alastair suggested that I send him a mini-bio to explain my involvment with Br. 28 Royal Canadian Legion Pipe Band.  First a short backgrounder. Currently I am employed at International Truck and Engine Corp., in Chatham as a production supervisor.  My family has a "history" there:  my father worked there for 29 years, my brother and his wife work there, and so does a cousin.

I am married to Christine Reaume-Brown, and have 5 children: Aly (15), Felicia (12), Dylan (10), Nathan Jr. (8) and Christopher (6).  When I am not working, I am the commanding officer of 162 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps "Wallaceburg", in Wallceburg ON.  I have been in the Canadian Forces Reserves as a Cadet Instructor Cadre officer for almost 22 years, with the rank of Lieutenant (Navy).  I also umpire baseball during the summer, like to golf and of course, there is the band.

My real first taste of things Scottish and the band occurred while I was an Army Cadet here in Chatham.  The local militia unit, the Essex and Kent Scottish, was our affiliated unit, so that had some affect.  But it was when I was Regimental Sargeant Major that I had the chance to wear a kilt for the first time.  And I loved it.  And for our Annual Inspection, the Br. 28 Pipe Band always played for us.  I was hooked pretty much right away.

When I was in my early 20s, I tried my hand at learning the pipes with the band.  I was actually coming along quite good, before life took one of it's many turns in the road, and I found myself in Kitchener/Waterloo.  The Army Cadet corps I worked with in Kitchener was too attached to a Highland militia unit (Highland Fusiliers of Canada).  This is where my Scottish education really began.  Besides just wearing a highland uniform, the HF of C would hold a St. Andrews dinner every year.  Lots of Scottish fare, including of course, Haggis (love the stuff!).  I also started attending Highland games during the summer, and dove in head first in the culture.

When I moved back to Chatham, I decided I would try my hand again with the band.  But this time as a swing tenor drummer.  I joined the band in March of 1995.  I have played swing tenor, bass and have recently retired as Drum Major after 5 years.  I am back in the ranks, playing rhythm tenor, and trying, albeit very slowly, to learn snare.  I also look after the band's website.

My family has always backed and supported my Scottish hobby, and some of my kids have really taken to it.  Aly wants to play the snare drum.  Dylan in the past has suited up at various events and marched as a Drum Major with the band.  My youngest Christopher loves to put his kilt on, and play his drum. He seems to have a knack for it.  Our lead stick in the band says he is a natural.  We'll have to work on it.  And even my wife spent a couple of years in the band playing swing tenor.

So I continue on my journey, learning all I can about Scotland and it's history and heritage.  I can even have Irn Bru on a regular basis since a couple of the grocery stores stock it.  My dream is, of course, to some day visit Scotland and take in things first hand.  Just throw my kilt on and take it all in.  Of course, being black, I get certain looks when I am in my gear, but I still love it.  One thing though:  I am not forsaking my Black heritage to be a "wanna-be Scot".  I know where I came from.  My children know where they came from.  But the Scottish influence that has been in our lives through the military and the band is too strong to ignore.

Christopher at 2006 New Year's Levee

Being a good husband and carrying my wife's drum after Tartan Day Parade in New York City 2002

Dylan (left), Russel Lambe (centre) and Christopher (right) Comber Fair 2004

Myself and Felicia at the CN Tower 2003 (she is much taller now!)

Myself and Aly at 2004 Annual Inspection
(She is now an Army Cadet, like the old man was!)

Return to Canadian Scottish History  |  Learn more about the Chatham Kent area of Ontario


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