Hugh Allan "Buddy" MacMaster was born to John Duncan and Sarah Agnes(MacDonald) MacMaster on October 18, 1924 in Timmons Ontario. When Buddy was four, his family returned to Cape Breton, settling on a farm in Judique. It was 1928 and the small community was nearing the end of an era. A steam- driven train the Judique Flyer, had replaced the old coach lone and emigration to "the Boston States", which had begun before the turn of the century, continued in the frightening numbers.
As a youngster Buddy's sharp awareness and love for music became obvious. He learned tunes from listening to his father play as well as other fiddlers in Cape Breton tradition. As his mother worked, she hummed Scottish tunes which he quickly picked up and made part of his repertoire. Buddy used little pieces of woods to mimic a fiddle on which he jigged tunes at the age of three and four.
At the age of eleven he found his fathers fiddle in the trunk and was able to play a tune that same day. This seemed to be the start of a long musical career which has touched the Celtic soul of many people nationally and internationally.
Buddy's first public appearance was at an amateur hour in Port Hood, at the age of fourteen was in Troy, Inverness County with Vincent MacMaster from Port Hastings(no relation) for a sum of $4.00. this covered his traveling expenses going by bus and returning by train. From the time Buddy arrived in Judique, he was exposed to many old time fiddlers. In Port Hood, there was the big fiddler Johnny Batherson (Matt Minglewoods Grandfather).
It was the fiddlers visiting from home that made the strongest impressions on Buddy. Dan Hughie, Dan R. MacDonald, Gordon Mac Quarrie, Dan...