Reflections through a glass

Picking up from the last posting last October, the social gatherings in the Globe this season were superb. Excellent speakers at Hallowe’en and St. Andrew’s Night and a truly memorable Anniversary Dinner when Brian Taylor’s toast was thoughtful and poignant, supported by a stellar entertainment programme including a sparkling “Lasses, O” from John Glover MBE. 14 members and spouses attended the Dumbarton Burns Club’s St. Andrew’s Night Dinner on 22nd November and enjoyed an evening with old friends. I had the pleasure of attending the “Scocha” Christmas concert at the Buccleuch Centre at Langholm on 14th December with Ian and Moira McIntyre and met up with Alex Pool and was delighted to see was on the mend. Our Christmas Dinner in the Globe on 16th December was packed with seasonal jollity and mirth. An excellent meal and bounty from Secret Santa. The January events included the annual commemorative service at St. Michaels Kirk which was well attended and featured a large number of local school pupils as well as the great and the good. President Godfrey Bedford placed the club’s floral tribute at the Mausoleum with great dignity. Our annual Burns gathering at Charnwood Lodge on 26th January was the best attended yet and was great fun. It seems the lunch format is successful. The 125th Anniversary Dinner previously mentioned was remarkable. Godfrey’s address to the Haggis in the accents of Oxford was interesting and in no way could be described as “Brigadoonified”. It was pleasing to note that the company stayed to “Auld Lang Synne”. Members received news of the passing of honorary member Ian Whitehead just after Christmas with much sadness. Although Ian had been ill for some time, his death was a shock to us all and he will be sadly missed. Later in January, another honorary member, Ian Clowe, passed away after a long illness. Ian was club piper for many years and was one of the most gifted pipers in Scotland. Gordon Johnston, the club impresario, arranged the Burns Suppers at Friars Carse and Five Arches with great skill and relied on talented members to sustain the programme. Good public relations for the club. The RBWF declared 2014 to be “The Year of the Haggis”, in association with the Scottish Meat Traders Society and was launched at various locations throughout Scotland in November. Your reporter had the privilege of assisting with the Dumfries event with Jane Brown and past president Ian McIntyre.
Four members travelled to Tarbolton on 21st March to attend the Bachelors Club Burns Supper in the famous building where the poet founded a debating society. The Burns Supper was magnificent with incredible talent and stirring toasts. Some modest refreshment was taken. The hotel near the Bachelors Club found by Gordon as Club Billeting Officer was interesting and the public bar had some colourful characters. Was disappointed that the promised Tattie Scones at breakfast failed to materialise.
Now preparing for the annual meeting of office bearers before the last meeting of the Executive Committee on 14th April. Godfrey has had an excellent year in my opinion, notwithstanding the rearrangement of speakers at the Anniversary Dinner but every function and event was successful and enjoyable. The Winter Club Night programme also had some rearrangements and the attendances in some cases were good. I have often wondered why most committee members ignore these interesting gatherings.