Majorettes Dressed As Jesters in the Beefeater Band

This post features images of the Beefeater Band of British Columbia, which thrived during the Golden Age of community bands, the 1930s through the 1960s. The Beefeather Band featured jovial majorettes dressed up like jesters. They affixed the ends of their baton with jester faces to mimic the marottes carried by medieval jesters. Also called ninny sticks and fool’s wands, the prop sticks featured carved and painted imitations of the jester’s own face. Very clever use of a baton.

Read on to learn more.

From the British Columbia Beefeater Band WordPress Site:

The British Columbia Beefeater Band was founded in 1944 by Gordon Olson. It was then called the Vancouver Junior Band. They made several trips during the early 1950s down the US west coast and to the mid-west US and even to the eastern seaboard.

In the late 1950s they were hired by Dal Richards to provide half time entertainment for the B.C. Lions F.C. By 1962, they had new uniforms (the same as the yeoman of the guard at the Tower of London in England), and changed their name to the British Columbia Beefeater Band. They won many first place awards for their marching and playing in parades and contests both around the lower mainland of Vancouver and in the USA.

In 1969, they made their first trip off the continent to Europe where they played in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This would be the first of two performances at the tattoo over the coming decade. They also traveled to tattoos in Durbin, South Africa and to Melbourne, Australia. Other trips included to the Royal Tournament in London, the Cardiff Searchlite Tattoo and to Hawaii in 1973.

They were a sensational hit every where they went with their brilliantly colored uniforms and their sensational marching performances.

For twenty years they remained the one and only official show band of the B.C. Lion’s F.C. When the Lions moved from Empire Stadium to their new home in B.C. Place Stadium in the mid 1980s, the association with the Band ended.

The Band continued on for a few more years and eventually ended in the early nineties as there was no successor to take over the leadership of the band. The times were changing and the costs were too high. The days of the one man band were swiftly coming to an end.

The history of the Beefeater Band is documented in two publications via Issuu. They are beautifully done and include many wonderful pictures. Below are the links.

Part 1

Part 2

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