Images from yesteryear: The Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band, with Joyce Metcalfe standing second from left.

Images from yesteryear: The Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band, with Joyce Metcalfe standing second from left.

Remembering Joyce Metcalfe, and the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band

Isn’t it amazing when by chance in this huge world of ours, meet outstanding people that greatly influence our lives? One such person was Joyce Metcalfe.

Patty Doering

As a woman I am looking into my past and replaying in my mind the pages of my life some 55 years ago.

As a girl I cherished all things in nature that were beautiful and learned at an early age that I had a heart and soul and yes I kept the most cherished pages of my life there. The universe with the sun and moon and stars guided me each day and somehow kept me safe in my solitude that I loved.

Isn’t it amazing when by chance in this huge world of ours, meet outstanding people that greatly influence our lives? One such person was Joyce Metcalfe.

I was 10 and even then I knew how special this lady was. What drew me to her was the fact that I wanted to become a majorette in the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band, an all-girls precision band that she directed. I knew then the excitement and energy I felt when I heard the bugles, drums and cymbals.

When I first met her I immediately knew she wanted my respect and she got that.

I was to begin my career with the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band. Mrs. Metcalfe took me under her wings and I began to learn the art of becoming a majorette. I admired how Joyce walked with her head held high and how her voice had a resonance of control and leadership.

Pictured: Joyce Metcalfe

Above all, throughout the years I spent with Joyce, she taught all of us to smile and really mean it as it came from our hearts. She also taught us determination, respect and stamina. That is exactly eventually made us a world class band — Best in the world under 30,000. Imagine that!

All the years I spent going to bugle band practice twice a week and I was part of the prestigious placement among all bugle bands in the world!

Thank you Mrs. Metcalfe. Thank you Joyce. Thank you, my most cherished friend in my life!

Our band grew to over 100 girls and we would parade ourselves in practice throughout the streets of Cranbrook. As majorettes, we were at the front of the band, proudly strutting and showing the energy that made our band famous. Joyce was always there, marching alongside the band, always alert if any girls needed anything as we marched.

Did anyone know that Joyce was a seamstress? She made many of the uniforms we so proudly wore.

Of all the hundreds of girls that Joyce directed, she instinctively knew the perfect advice to all the girls going through puberty. She had such patience, and yes, it was a strict patience that had the girls carrying on with the lessons of becoming an adult. She taught us pride. We were ambassadors for our city. We were the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band.

Pictured: Patty Keen (now Patty Doering) with the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band.

I remember many completely funny and hilarious situations that happened along the way as we performed. The time I got the flu and we were performing marching down the street. In my delirious state, the band turned the corner and I kept going straight all by myself down the wrong road. It was Joyce that came to the rescue and put her arms around me and escorted me to safety. That was who she was.

I was a member of the band for nine years. Much later in my life as an adult, my mother passed away. I was trying my best to be brave through my mourning. I was in a grocery store one afternoon. The sun was coming in through the windows. I was trying not to cry and be so sad thinking of my mother. Suddenly like an angel, Joyce appeared in front of me. My heart was full of ache and all I could do was smile at her. I saw her eyes had a twinkle and she said, “You’re smiling … you’re going to be all right.”

And I was alright. From that moment I began to heal and carry on with life.

If ever a tribute should be written it should be to Joyce Metcalfe and her amazing dedication she shared with her direction for the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band.

Thank you Joyce for all you have given me in my life. and the lives of hundreds of other women. Thank you for my smile that I use everyday. Thank you for instilling the stamina within me to face the tribulations of my life. Thank you for all the memories on our road to becoming a world class band.

Thank you, Cranbrook, for giving our band the opportunity to represent you all through the years.

Patty Doering (née Keen) works for the Victoria News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Tri-Kon will be delivering concrete barriers on Friday afternoon for a patio space that will be shared between Soulfood Farm to Table and Sakura.Trevor Crawley photo.
Outdoor patios in the works for downtown core

Efforts already underway to set up outdoor patios on Baker St. from four local business

The BC Wildfire Service will be conducting an ecosystem restoration burn near the old Kimberley airport next week. BC Wildfire Service file.
Ecosystem restoration burn planned for old Kimberley airport area next week

Burn could begin as early as Monday, April 12, 2021

From wall hangings to plant hangers, keychains and shelves, Radiant Knots creates a variety of pieces to suit for any taste and style.
Cranbrook Arts is Looking Radiant

Cranbrook Arts Featured Artist for the month of April is Radiant Knots.… Continue reading

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Interior Health doesn’t echo B.C.’s daily COVID record

80 new cases reported Thursday, April 8, compared to 91 the day prior

The new 6,300 square foot Cranbrook Food Bank facility is located at 1624 Industrial Rd 2 and is open to the public Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
New Cranbrook Food Bank officially open to the public

The new facility is located at 1624 Industrial Rd. 2 and open Monday, Wednesday, Friday

A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020. (VJH Foundation photo)
Three deaths linked to COVID-19 outbreak in Vernon hospital

Interior Health reports two additional deaths at VJH

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read