BAGPIPES IN BARCLAY SQUARE: Peter Fleming blows a tune with the Mildura Pipe Band at the weekend. 

WITH COVID-19 safety plan approved and hand sanitiser at the ready, members of Mildura District Pipe Band made their first public appearance in more than four months with an open-air practice in Red Cliffs on Sunday.

The band, a part of the community for 98 years, received permission from Mildura Rural City Council for the practice in Barclay Square after approval of the plan.

Band drummer Neil Lawrence said that until Sunday, members had only gathered once since March when a temporary easing of social restrictions allowed a practice at the Cardross home of pipe major Peter Fleming.

Neil said special permission was required from council under COVID protocols to access band equipment stored in its practice room at the Aero Ovals where members had gathered on Wednesday nights until the pandemic hit.

The band plans to continue Sunday outdoor practices in preparation for participation in VP 75th anniversary commemorations marking the end of World War Two on August 15.

Mildura was the only civilian pipe band to enlist as a unit in World War Two with members being captured after the fall of Singapore.