Burns Night with a Difference

The night began with a welcome and a short poem from President Hazel. And then, accompanied by a cacophony of kazoos from the 43 Rotarians, partners and guests, the haggis entered Kenneth Dickie’s kitchen courtesy of Marylin. As tradition dictates, the Selkirk Grace followed, delivered faultlessly by Jim Nelson. Reprising his highly entertaining address to the haggis from last January, Kenneth reminded us of the mating of the Haggii (plural of haggis)which takes place on 30th November, St Andrews day. And low and behold, 56 days later on 25th January Hagglets are born, when the annual culling of mature Haggii takes place. After this introduction of frivolity, it was down to the serious business of a formal address to a haggis.

The evening fun continued with poems, a topical ode from Paul Williams and Burns aficionados Jimmy Begg and Willie Stewart, followed by a groaning ‘joke’ from secretary Colin.

The Immortal Memory was delivered by our guest for the evening, retired Lothian & Borders policeman, Bob Hope who was for many years as a volunteer, the driving force behind Friends of the Award charity whose raison d’etre is that every young person in Edinburgh and the Lothians would have the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

More party pieces were delivered throughout the night from Ron Ireland, Linda Wilson, John Dunlop, Douglas Haddow and our guest from Alloway Rotary Club, Bill Grant. However, the toast to the lassies by Neil Beattie hit a topical and resonating note when he paid tribute to the role of women in history and today and in particular the America’s National Youth Poet Laureate 22 year old, Harvard educated, Amanda Gorman and the new Vice President in the White House Kamala Harris, on whom he heaped praise for their stature, presence and dignity. President Hazel replied to the Toast to the Lassies, with an impressive attempt at auld Scots tongue. Ieuan Isaac delivered a worthy vote of thanks to all contributors and especially John Dunlop for his masterful organisation of the evening, confirming we raised in excess of £300 for Aquabox.

Linda Wilson was crowned principal of the poets as the winner for her hilarious rendition of “To a Louse”

And the very successful “Burns Night with a Difference” was concluded with Bob Hope on his accordion and everyone singing Auld Lang Syne