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John Robins
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- J.R. - Words from Al Tierney
- John Robins Roast - 1986
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CDCA 1934-1984
"Salute to 50" Years

CDCA Salute to 50


FDM Sr Drum Corps
In 1956 the Canadian Drum Corps Association progressed to the marching and maneuvering show, made up of 11 to 13 minutes of music, while performing drill maneuvers. This change gave the fans a much more enjoyable show to watch.

In those years the bands were discouraged from taking part in the "fancy drill" competitions. To get around this regulation many units formed another group, to compete, used a different name and a different uniform. The secondary group for the 48th was the Flying Dutchmen Drum Corps, and John was also a playing member of that Corps.


Reprinted from Kitchener Record, December, I960:


When you watch two hometown bands on parade in future, you might notice a certain similarity in the personnel of the two units. Yours eyes won't be deceiving you.

For the Twin City bandsmen are sort of the Siamese twins of the music world.

The same 60 bandsmen parade for some appearances as the 48th Field Squadron, Royal Canadian Engineers Trumpet Band and for others as the Flying Dutchmen Drum Corps.

For strictly military parades the band wears its engineer regimental dress with scarlet tunics, furry busby and lots of gold braid. The drums are black and they bear the Engineers' regimental crest.

But when the bandsmen want to cavort in razzle-dazzle, American-style drill for competitions in Canada and the United States, they switch to their Flying Dutchmen Drum Corps dress. It includes a black satin shirt, white sash and a tall white plume adorning the busby. Green sparkling drums replace the black crested drums for the Flying Dutchmen parades.

The two -faces of the band are necessary because as the Engineers trumpet band, the unit cannot depart from strictly military drills and marching. And band leaders say that just
isn't enough to win competitions these days.


In 1961 the Flying Dutchmen repertoire included: Happy Days, Moments to Remember, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Frankie & Johnny, Chicago, and Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

The 48th finally discontinued and the Flying Dutchmen became John Robins' prime interest.


Reprinted from: 1974-75 Dutchmen Yearbook, Earl Cloes, Editor

John Robins was on the baritone line of the Senior Flying Dutchmen. The Corps was entered in the Senior A division and competed in both Canada and the United States for several seasons, 1964 and 1965 being their best. During this period, the Corps had sponsored over thirty Drum Corps contests and exhibitions in Kitchener and Waterloo a record unmatched by any other group. It's finances were dependent upon the success of these shows. The Corps was se1f supporting without sponsors so it became more difficult to survive. The Corps was going into the red financially at a pace that would ultimately mean complete collapse, so it was decided to trans-form the Corps into a Junior Group. John was one of the Executive Board members in 1966 to have The Flying Dutchmen become a Junior Corps.