“THAT e’en tae name, would be unlawf’y”
Can I start by apologising to anyone who was offended in the previous blog entry as mutterings have been heard. November 7th and 14th, two very productive sessions in the club library with William Robson, our bibliophile, who is reaching the end of the project to value the contents for insurance. The morning gatherings are entertaining and enjoyable with Gordon J. and Kenny McK. to lend a hand. 14th November, the Excom meeting to sort out arrangements for St. Andrew’s Night which looks like a cracker. Meeting was followed by a presentation from Webmaster Neil on the mysteries of cyberspace. (Sometimes there’s too much technology!!). Saturday 19th, up at the crack of dawn for the luxury minibus to Liberton for the RBWF Quarterly Meeting. Set off at 7.30am from Brooms Road Car Park and almost forgot to collect Gordon. J. at the Five Arches but, as navigator, arrived on time and tholed the morning meeting of the Heritage Committee. Glad we were able to report positively on Burns Mausoleum but heard adverse comments from Ayrshire delegates on the Birthplace Museum and Burns Cottage. The plenary session after lunch was a trial but we escaped at 3.50pm to the considerable relief of Ted Murray who had a promise. The Renovations Committee on 21st heard reports on progress on de-nailing the ancient flooring wood but wisely decided to postpone any major works until after the Anniversary Dinner. The club’s “Question Time” event on 24th November proved to be surprisingly successful but as usual, poorly supported by club members. Chairman Peter Kormylo deserves congratulations in preventing rancour and refereeing the panel. Excellent contributions from Peter Westwood, Jim Scott, Betty Haining, John Haining, Les Byers and Ralph Coleman who presented President Frank with a collection of his archive material from the club of yesteryear. Light relief on Saturday afternoon at the “Drambuster’s” Malt Whisky Festival at the Cairndale. Jings, 24 different tables set up with several bottles of superb malts at each. Attended with Gordon and Neil J., had some modest samples. Great fun and glad to report that drunkeness was avoided, I think, as our driver on the return journey suggested otherwise BUT Gordon was able to perform with his usual phizazz at Ellisland later that night. Tuesday 29th, foregathered at the Globe with PP John Caskie to construct the seating plan for St. Andrew’s Night, nae bother. The St. Andrew’s Night Dinner on 30th November was a magical occasion with a powerful toast to “Auld Scotia and New Scotland” from George Reid which brought a standing ovation from the company. One of the most stirring I have heard and I’ve heard a few superb toasts over the years. The supporting entertainment was worthy of the London Palladium at its best. Our young Russian singer was impressive as was Bobby Jess’s “Tam the Bike”. Glad to see PP Stewart Tweedie receive a gesture marking the 40th anniversary of his year in office. Our speaker was excellent company and will hopefully consider a return invitation in future. Gavin Findlay of Dumbarton Burns Club brought respectful greetings from his members (aye, right) We’ll get our own back on Friday. The dinner was well chaired by President Frank and thanks are due to the stewards and the team who sold raffle tickets. Although finishing on schedule at 11.30pm, it was disappointing to note the number of empty seats in spite of an appeal earlier by the president to wait till the end. Dumbarton Burns Club’s St. Andrew’s Night in the Strathclyde Home Stadium, Dumbarton was most enjoyable with an excellent meal, an entertaining toast to “Scotland” from Colin McKay, a media type and first class entertainment. The club was represented officially by President Frank and SVP Ian, but with an entourage which included the entire Johnston family (safety in numbers) Regret to report that an almost intact bottle of Taliskers was left in the taxi on the return journey to the upmarket hotel and the SVP has agreed to lead an enquiry into the circumstances of its loss. Back down the road early on Saturday to attend the SSCBA meeting at 11.00am in the Globe (madness) but the meeting was constructive and well organised. John Caskie as SSCBA secretary has made a difference. Business included reports from the Federation meeting, arrangements for the St. Michaels Service in January. Jane Brown as President, reported on the SSCBA(Commemoration) Ltd meeting which has become a secret society. Next meeting at Gatehouse in March. Glad to escape for lunch. The following morning, accompanied President Frank, Ian McIntyre and Ted Murray, his close protection officer, to St. Giles, Edinburgh for the annual St. Andrew’s Day Service. It was a privilege to be conveyed in such a splendid equipage as the Presidential Porsche and your blogger, as navigator, ensured an arrival in time to enjoy a coffee and scone before the assembly at the Signet Library for marshalling into order of precedence and were joined by David Baird. The Federation delegation was behind the Sally Army but ahead of the Band of Hope and shuffled across Parliament Square to the Kirk. The service was as colourful and impressive as ever with superb singing and chanting from the choir. The luncheon at Roslin was covered in the president’s blog but he omitted to record that the party of Spanish in the hotel were most interested in his kilt. Monday 5th December, the Executive Committee meeting and many expressions of delight on the St. Andrew’s Night Dinner and provisional ticket requests for the Anniversary Dinner in January. Tuesday 6th accompanied Prersident Frank to the DGRI to see Hon. Member Alex Pool who is unwell. Alex was in good spirits and pleased to see us and accepted the bag of seedless grapes as a gift from the club. That’s all for 2011 and hopefully better days are round the corner.