The Kena Highlanders were established in May, 1979 as the Royal Pipers of Kena. The first president of the unit was William B. F. Patton. The unit marched in its first parade in 1980, the Fairfax Independence Day Parade. In February, 1981, the unit played for the 203rd Grand Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, A.F. & A.M. The unit has been playing and marching ever since.
In June, 1983, the Royal Pipers changed their name to the Royal Pipes and Drums of Kena, to acknowledge the incorporation and importance of the drums in the unit. This unit won its first, First Place Trophy for Pipe Bands, at the Mid Atlantic Shrine Association convention, in 1983. Later in the year, the Royal Pipes and Drums of Kena held their first Tartan Ball, which became a yearly occurrence. In 1986, piper Harry Hadley became our first President of the Mid Atlantic Association of Shrine Highlanders. He served through the fall of 1987.
In 1988, the unit was renamed the Kena Highlanders, to shorten its name and to conform to the majority of Highland Bands in the North American Shrine. Our President also became Clan Chief, to conform to other Highland Bands.
In 1989, the Kena Highlanders attended the Shrine Imperial Session in Toronto, Canada. With eight men in the competition for pipe bands, we took third place in music, and first place in dress and deportment. This among all the pipe bands who participated in the Shrine Imperial Session. In addition to serving as Clan Chief of our unit for one and a half terms, Dudley Middleton has also been the Clan Chief of the South Atlantic Association of Shrine Highlanders and Clan Chief of the Mid Atlantic Association of Shrine Highlanders. Dudley is a triple threat Highlander, having been active as a bass drummer, piper, and drum major in the Kena Highlanders. Another of our Highlanders is following the same path. Dick Rowley is currently moving up the line in MAASH, having been through the SAASH line already.
The primary elective positions in the Kena Highlanders are the Clan Chief, currently held by Bob Black, the Pipe Major, currently held by Bob Scroggie who has been piping for over fifty years, and the Drum Major, currently held by Ray Whitney, Jr. The unit has won numerous trophies since its first trophy in 1983, and has grown in size so that we now perform in parades and at other activities as a full-fledged pipe band with our own drum major, plus color bearer and color guards (sword bearers). We invite those Shriners, not in other units, to consider joining our band for the enjoyment of the music, fellowship, and the camaraderie of being in an active Shrine unit.