Summer’s here

Missed the club bowling night on 21st May but astonished to hear who the winners were. Unsuspected skill must have been displayed or perhaps skill increased in proportion to the alcohol consumed. Thanks due to Dumfries Bowling Club for their facilities  and to Kerr Little for succulent pies.

First meeting of the new committee on 27th May. Was much exercised by the request from Dumfries Burns Club for use of our clubroom. This raised some lively discussion and the president ruled that a decision would be deferred to the next meeting to allow proper consideration. Enjoyable buffet supper followed by a soiree with good harmony.

The AGM of the SSCBA was held at Ellisland on 8th June and was uneventful. Your blogger proposed that the term of office for post holders should be reduced to two years from three and this was agreed in principle to come into force after Mrs Brown demits office. This is to encourage more folk to consider standing for office.  A very enjoyable Scottish Night on 11th June at the Globe, MC’d by John Caskie as part of the Guid Nychburis Week. The Excom meeting on 17th June agreed to grant permission to Dumfries Burns Club for access to the clubroom, subject to their accepting reasonable conditions. The decision was not unanimous. Dumfries was the venue for the June meeting of the RBWF Executive and a big attendance gathered at Georgetown Community Centre on 22nd June. Was impressed for once with the generally constructive views expressed.

The 9th Jean Armour Dinner on 1st July was in my opinion, the best ever. A full house, excellent meal and a superb toast to “Jean” from honorary member John Glover MBE, supported by outstanding entertainment from the youthful guest artistes not forgetting Willie McRobert on the accordion. At the statue, Past President Ian McIntyre delivered a stirring oration which hit the right note. A night to remember, well conducted by President Godfrey  and no one appeared to leave before ”Auld Lang Syne”. The club was represented at the ceremony at Coldstream Bridge on 7th July when the president placed the club’s floral tribute at the spot, halfway between England and Scotland with great dignity. Although the weather was damp, spirits were high and a first class social hour was held at the British Legion. The delegation consisted of the president, past president McIntyre, librarian Gordon Johnston and your reporter.  The annual inspection and clean up of the commemorative plaques at Burns’ contemporaries in St. Michael’s Kirkyard was conducted with efficiency on 10th July and the Club Treasure Hunt took place on 11th July. This was as usual, great fun. A good attendance saw four teams, accompanied by an “advisor” creep round the town centre gathering the non cryptic clues from the route and within the designated pubs. On return to the Globe, when no one appeared to be the worse for wear, the winners were declared to be the team from the Globe and were presented with their prize of bottles of plonk by the president. Shocked to hear of the passing of Ernie Smith, a member for many years and former committee member. Funeral service at the Chapel of Rest was packed. Further sad news with the death of past president Jim Irving on 2nd July.  Annual trip to Hawick for the Wauchope Cairn ceremony on 14th July, by luxury minibus. Smashing weather, an impressive oration by Dave Scott from Duns, he who donated the ancient flooring for the clubroom and an excellent buffet and social on return to Hawick Burns Club. Much impressed with president Godfrey’s contribution to the entertainment.

The SSCBA’s event at Brow Well on 17th July ran like clockwork. Splendid weather, an absence of midges and slurry spraying meant that the company with numbered 90 heard Bob Stewart’s oration in comfort. Bob had done his research and I learned some things previously unknown. The rest of the service went to plan and the gathering at the Cairndale thereafter was enjoyable. Meanwhile, some amusement was provoked by press reports that the First Minister and honorary club member Alex Salmond was boycotting the Open Golf Championship at Muirfield  because of  Muirfield’s men only membership policy.  Someone, I wonder who, tipped off the Scotsman that Mr Salmond was a member of the Burns Howff Club, Dumfries, which was reported incorrectly to be a men only club and this duly appeared on page 6 of Scotland’s National Newspaper. After consulting the president, it was agreed that silence was the best response. There was a follow up on Sunday 21st when Scotland on Sunday’s quiz asked of which male only club was Alex Salmond a member. At least they got the name right in the answer, “Burns Howff Club, Dumfries”  All good fun!