New Brunswick

Moncton student honoured for sticking up for bagpiper

The RCMP Pipes and Drums surprised students at Arnold H. McLeod School in Moncton when they marched into the gym to honour Grade 4 student Easton Lackie for his act of kindness and encouragement to one of their members.

Note of encouragement left on door means a great deal to RCMP pipe band member who was verbally harassed

Easton Lackie, his brother Daxon and grandparents Jim and Patricia Chapman pose with the RCMP Pipes and Drums band after being recognized for kindness toward band member Eric Mourant. (Pierre Fournier/CBC)

Students at Arnold H. McLeod School in Moncton got quite a surprise Friday when the RCMP Pipes and Drums marched into the gym to honour a Grade 4 student for an act of kindness.

The band attended the monthly student recognition assembly so one of its members, Eric Mourant, could recognize Easton Lackie for his act of kindness and words of encouragement. 

 'For him it was just writing a card and for me it meant so much more, which is why we were all here today.'-  Eric Mourant, bagpiper with RCMP Pipes and Drums

Easton wrote Mourant a note after he saw an adult verbally harass the officer for practising his bagpipes while walking in the neighbourhood. 

"One night, I couldn't sleep cause I heard the bagpipes, so I went outside and I saw (him)," Easton said. "The next night I was biking with my friends and I saw the guy come out and yell at him."

He said he went back inside and told his mom what happened, then wrote the letter to Mourant.

"It said keep up the good work," Easton said. "The next day I put it on his door." 

When asked why he wanted to speak out against what he saw, Easton said he thought what happened to Mourant was just mean.

Nervous and excited 

The shy student admitted he was both nervous and excited when he figured out the surprise on Friday was for him.

It was the first time Easton saw Mourant in his band uniform and performing with the RCMP Pipes and Drums. 

Easton Lackie was recognized by the RCMP Pipes and Drums band for his act of kindness toward Eric Mourant, right. (Pierre Fournier/CBC)

Easton's parents were unable to attend, but they'll hear all about it, he said.  Easton's grandfather, Jim Chapman, said he's proud of what his grandson did. 

"He's a pretty good kid." 

Card had special meaning

For Mourant, getting the letter from Easton meant a lot.

"I was feeling awful about all that had happened," Mourant said. "It was all very negative and there was a card taped to my front door, and it was a card from Easton telling me not to give up and to enjoy my music and to keep on playing the bagpipes."

Mourant said he thought it was very kind of Lackie to do that for him. 

Easton Lackie, a Grade 4 student at Arnold H. McLeod School in Moncton, says he didn't like the "mean" words spoken to Eric Mourant by someone who didn't like hearing the bagpipes. (Pierre Fournier/CBC)
"I thought this is the kind of citizens we want in our society." 

After Mourant told the band what happened they all signed a certificate of recognition for him.

"It's unbelievable how a simple act of kindness can change things. For him it was just writing a card and for me it meant so much more, which is why we were all here today."

With files from Tori Weldon