The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Grantham Police Boys Band
There used to be quite a few drum corps on the Niagara Peninsula. Some of them that I remember are: the Thorold Black Knights, the Port Dalhousie Guardsmen, the Welland Crowland Lancers, the Merritton Buccaneers, the Merritton Grenadiers, the Canadaires, the Niagara Memorial Millitaires, the Dennis Morris Majestics and, of course, the Grantham Police Boys Band.
In the early days Grantham was noted for their Bobby Hats which the Grantham Police imported directly from England.
In those days Norm Fach was not only Chief Of Police but also the Corps Director. In addition, he was a great innovator in the Drum Corps movement.
As various Corps started to disappear the last two operating Corps in the area (Grantham and the Majestics) merged to form the Chessmen. This merger lasted until 1968. When that Corps folded many of the final members elected to join the Optimists.
Video footage of Grantham, recorded in 1964 or '65 in Toronto
POLICE BOYS' BAND OF GRANTHAM TOWNSHIP
The Police Boys' Band of Grantham Township has participated in a host of parades and band competitions, both in Ontario and the United States. They have brought home many honours, not only for themselves, but also for the community in which they live.
In 1956, they became Junior "B" Champions of Canada when they participated in the Canadian Championships at Merritton, Ontario. They also had the singular honour of representing Canada as the only band to have participated in the All American Soap Box Derby Trials at Akron, U.S.A., in August, 1956.
Their marching and music ability has improved a great deal since their first appearance in public, and their practices are as numerous now as they were then. It is believed that their original purposes have been well fulfilled. The band members have received an education in music, relations between the Police Department and the younger people of the Township are definitely better as the result of the association of the members of the Department with such an organization, and the band has truly entertained many thousands of appreciative audiences since its inception.
This band is under the direct management of Chief Constable Norman P. Fach. Mr. Charles Hill, formerly with the late John Philip Sousa, is their musical director and bandmaster. Drum instruction is by Don Gill of St. Catharines and the Drum Major is John Kerr.
(from the program for a 1957 show sponsored by Opti-Corps)
File with information on the
(materials supplied by Bev Hill)