Oor Annual Burns Supper – 21 January 2020

An unco guid time was had by all at this year’s Burns supper wi’ aw the honest lads and bonnie lasses fair turnt oot in their best claes. The Savoy Park Hotel was bizzen from the start as the members and guests gathered for what was, tae be shair, a braw nicht.

the gushin entrails

Into the company of the (nearly) great and the (mostly) good, president Ieuan Isaac welcomed the members and honoured guests, before introducing to us the puir souls who were to entertain us throughout the nicht’s ongauns. These began with a rousing piping in of the haggis by piper Fraser Macarthur and an excellent (and messy) traditional address, by Kenneth Dickie to that renowned chieftain o’ the puddin race, preceded by a rambling tale about the life of haggises and haglets (juvenile haggis). John Dunlop then delivered the Selkirk grace, but was unable to restrict his contribution to the grace itself and began by telling us something about his professional knowledge of the ingredients of sausages (puddins) and referring to Douglas Haddow as the heid-banger (another puddin). Thereafter we were treated to a mouth-watering bill o’ fare served up by the attentive staff of the Savoy Park.

Well-fed an’ wi’ fu’ kytes, the company settled down to the main event heralded by a medley of pipe tunes by piper Fraser. Next up was our very own Burnsian and practised Scots speaker Jimmy Begg who recited a poem of his own, ostensibly written to welcome Burns to Edinburgh. One retired GP followed another and Charles Douglas delivered an Immortal Memory in his inimitable style. Charles guided us on an amusing and educational trip through the life of Burns from his birth in Alloway, to the farms at Mount Oliphant, Lochlea and Mossgiel, then from Mauchline to his glory days in Edinburgh, before returning to farming at Ellisland, and finishing his days in Dumfries town. No sooner had the well-earned applause subsided than Alistair Tyre was on his feet to toast the lassies with another poem – this time highlighting RB’s respect for women and their justifiable claim to equal rights.  Douglas Haddow replied “on behalf o’ aw the cronies gathered here the nicht” with an excellent and witty poem of his own which presumably acknowledged the advice of Mrs H through the recurring line “my wife told me so”.  

President Ieuan, in his vote of thanks, congratulated all those involved for their expert performances and gave well-deserved credit to Hazel McCully for organising such an enjoyable event.

The evening concluded with the traditional singing of Auld Lang Syne.