An uneventful AGM on 9th May. Ian McIntyre passed the Chain on to Godfrey Bedford who congratulated Ian on a memorable year. Disappointed at the response from the floor to the discussion on the early departure from the last Anniversary Dinner. A couple of past presidents made the excuse of having to work on the following morning or had difficulty in finding taxis but your blogger was unimpressed. Surely members can make arrangements for one night in the year for the most important event in the club calendar. The retiring treasurer got away with his proposal for an increase in the amount of members’ subscription. Was able to report that John Caskie’s club umbrellas had sold out. Well done John. At the election of office bearers, John Clark was elected senior vice president in his absence, again, and Callum Watson elected junior vice president, in addition to his duties as club piper. Frank Manson was unanimously elected honorary treasurer and your blogger was again elected honorary secretary for the 41st time although this is now coming to an end but David Miller will be OK. Welcome relief at Sinos for supper afterwards. Godfrey’s first task with the Chain was to attend the ceremony at Coldstream Bridge on 12th May when a small delegation joined a party of distinguished Burnsians for the annual ceremony. Although conditions were damp, the procession followed a four man pipe band from the British Legion to the bridge where Godfrey placed the club’s tribute on a hook with great style. At the Craw Green, the president of Coldstream Burns Club gave an oration and another speaker delivered an appreciation of Burns and the Coldstream connection. Following a dram, the procession formed up to shuffle back to the British Legion for a super buffet and some entertainment. Thanks due to Gordon Johnston for navigational skills. Accompanied Ian McIntyre to the Thomas Hope Hospital at Langholm on 15th May, to visit honorary member Alex Pool. Alex has been in various hospitals since October 2012 but am delighted to report that he is now well on the mend and due to get home in a couple of weeks. We were joined by his son David.
The president and I called on Mark Jardine at his office on the same date to have a look at the design for the Burns’ sculpture planned by Mark’s Peoples Project for the ground outside St. Michaels Kirk, opposite Jean Armour’s statue. This is being installed as part of the Queens Jubilee Year. Have to say that we were both very impressed. It is not a statue but a carved black of sandstone with images and verses engraved and a head of the poet in relief. It is due for unveiling in July. The Grim Reaper has been busy of late and sorry to record that I attended the funerals of two members in recent weeks, Tom Bartlett and Jimmy(Purley) McWhirter, both long standing members and was sorry to hear about the passing of Ronnie Armstrong, a past president of Dumbarton Burns Club and honorary member of the Howff Club having delivered the “Immortal Memory” at the Anniversary Dinner in 1994 when Frank Curran was president.
Looking forward to the Bowling Night on the 21st May when the highly coveted “Draffan Cup” will be up for grabs.