British Columbia·Video

North Vancouver boy discovers love for bagpipes after watching Pink Pied Piper play

Little Frankie Whelan's passion for the bagpipes first started when he saw the Pink Pied Piper playing the instrument in North Vancouver's Lonsdale neighbourhood. Now, he play alongside him every Friday.

Frankie Whelan used to use a hockey stick to mimic the bagpipes, but now has his own set of pipes

Frankie Whelan, 4, plays his set of bagpipes alongside his hero, Frank Wimberley, also known as the Pink Pied Piper, in North Vancouver, B.C. They meet every Friday and walk down Lonsdale Avenue playing the pipes together. (Kevin Li/CBC)

Little Frankie Whelan may only be four years old, but he already knows his favourite day of the week is Friday.

That's because he gets to see his hero Frank Wimberley, also known as the Pink Pied Piper, play the bagpipes while walking down Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver around five in the evening.

"When Friday happens, Frank comes, and I just really want to play with him so that's why I act like him," said Frankie.

Frankie's parents, Gerard and Donna, said their son started to watch the Pink Pied Piper from their home last  September. Then he asked his parents to go outside and join in, using a hockey stick to pretend to play along.

WATCH | Frankie plays the bagpipes with the Pink Pied Piper:

Young boy discovers love for bagpipes

CBC News BC

1 month ago
1:53
Little Frankie Whelan's passion for the bagpipes first started when he saw the Pink Pied Piper playing the instrument in North Vancouver's Lonsdale neighbourhood. 1:53

Now, little Frankie marches down the street playing alongside his hero, with a set of his own bagpipes and a traditional Scottish outfit that he got for Christmas.

"Frankie's a funny one. When he gets into things, he goes 100 per cent," said his mom, Donna.

The Pink Pied Piper

Wimberley started to play the bagpipes outside as part of the 7 p.m. cheer for health-care workers that are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. His route used to be closer to Lions Gate Hospital but as winter came, he decided to play the pipes earlier in the evening, every Friday, in Lower Lonsdale to bring the community together.

He said it's fantastic that little Frankie wants to learn how to play them but also has a small warning for the young boy.

"I'm really impressed that he's taken it on and he's loving it. I mean, Frankie will soon learn that people will pay him to stop playing."

With files from Kevin Li

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