Dumbarton Burns Club St Andrew’s Night

St Andrews night report 2014St Andrews Night report 2014

President’s Report Dumbarton St Andrew’s Night 28th Nov 2014

On 24th November a mixed company of 13 travelled to Dumbarton Burns Club to enjoy a terrific meal and entertainment, in the fine surroundings of the Alexandria Masonic Temple a few miles north of Dumbarton. The magnificent interior, reminiscent of a scene from Harry Potter’s ‘Hogwarts Castle’ proved a very fitting setting, with oak panelling, fine murals, stage and minstrel gallery.

We were warmly welcomed by George Dunwoody (an excellent host and MC throughout) and the executive committee of the DBC who showed our party unreserved hospitality. After a terrific, animated ‘toast tae the haggis’  from Gavin Finlay we were entertained by an excellent ensemble of gifted singers and speakers. The entertainment was first class,notably Robert Ryan (vice president) who sang and played guitar on his own, very moving, version of Caledonia as a tribute to those who perished in the Clutha Inn disaster. We were also entertained by Kirsten Easdale a most accomplished folk singer and accompanying accordionist. Excellent readings followed from Bill Kean and Scot Rorison.

The lengthy toast ‘tae Auld Scotia was delivered in scholarly fashion by Professor Gerard Carruthers, an academic of note who covered the Scottish persona down the centuries with mind blowing intellectual precision. The toast ‘tae the lassies’ by Martin Walker although amusing to start with, fell a little flat when he targeted ladies in the audience with a stream of sexist jokes. Unfortunately jokes about dumb blondes were not truly appreciated by the numerous ladies present (especially the two highly intelligent blondes sitting either side of me).

The reply from the lassies by Jenny McIntyre was, conversely, well delivered, short and sweet! John Young then took centre stage and sang a stirring version of ‘Piper of Dumbarton’ to rapturous applause! The evenings entertainment closed with a comprehensive and amusing vote of thanks from DBC Vice president Robert Ryan.

All in all a fabulous night in excellent company. After a goodnight tipple we retired well fed, well looked after and slightly intoxicated. An evening of dreamless sleep was rudely interrupted by the early morning sound of thunderous Glasgow commuter trains. Combined with several hundred tonnes of articulated lorries whizzing by on the dual carriageway and the odd Aeroplane from Glasgow Airport this must surely qualify for the noisiest hotel on the planet but at £28 per room it was a price worth paying. Congratulations to Gordon for securing the hotel and D Smith for organising the taxis with military precision.

I have duplicated a copy of a poetic address recited on the evening. This was presented to President George Dunwoody as a token of the esteem each club holds for the other. A great night out was had by all!!

John Clark

Address tae the Dumbarton Burns Club (Nov 2014)

Dear, President George -a few lines I’ve composed

in respect o’ the cronies, that drink in the Globe

oors seats hard as paint pots, oor plates free o’ design

oor meal washed doon wi’ whisky, in preference tae wine


Like the boys frae Dumbarton, we take it in turns

wi social pursuits and oor passion for Burns

tae reciprocate pleasures, we cut quite a dash

If there’s yin thing in common …. we’re aye up for a laugh


’cause there’s big Gordon Johnston, he’s braw on a bike

Pipe Major Calum’s sublime on the pipes

If ye like lobster cooked on a B.B.Q. fire

ye might want tae converse wi’ the bold McIntyre


Les Byers he’s a singer and reciter supreme

for accordion music, (look nae further) than wee Lee McQueen

Frank Manson will help ye tae tally yer books

Bert Hastings spins stories o’ ghosties and spooks!!!


If ye’re keen on green bowling Ken Crookshank’s – ‘the king’

Davie Smith, well – he’s a Club Legend and master o’ spin

Frae Manhattan, tae Sydney, Moscow tae Dubai

whether kilted or suited wi’ dickie bow tie


It’s nae where ye come frae or what tartan ye wear

religion or money or the length o’ yer hair.

It’s mair aboot freenship and faith that in time

we can a’ staun together for the sake o’ lang syne


Brought together in kinship by poems, sweet, sublime

created by genius perfected by time….

May we aye be contented in wartime or peace

Brithers here in Dumbarton – as we are in Dumfries!



John Clark