President’s Blog January 2015


President’s Blog and Report Annan

Ladies Burns Club Anniversary Dinner 22nd January 2015

On 22nd January 2015 I had the great pleasure of being invited to the Annan Ladies Burns Club Anniversary dinner along with fellow delegate David Smith BEM and principal speaker David Miller. After introductions and a stirring ‘address tae the haggis’ by our own David Miller the company was treated to a traditional and rather tasty haggis dinner accompanied by generous hospitality.

A young lady (Miss Cameron Ewing) set the pace for the evening with some fine (if a little nervous) singing. One to watch I would say! Leona Evans gave us an unusual slant with the address to Husbands and Sweethearts which was partly made up by some delightful singing of well kent Burns favourites and humorous anecdotes. Dora Lewis accompanied Leona on fiddle and gave a solo performance of other Scottish airts.

David Miller was then invited to give the immortal memory which was delivered with skill, humour and a certain panache. He was rewarded with lengthy applause and a fine bottle of whisky at the end of the evening, to compliment another bottle won in the raffle. (Lucky sod!)

After Val Blake entertained us with a song, humorous dialogue was provided by the incorrigible Pat Jardine in her toast tae the toon of Annan with reminisces of her misspent youth and other daft stories! Felt a wee bit sorry for Pat as she had to compete with what sounded like the end of an Annan Athletic Training session and at times it was quite hard to hear what she was saying but all in all she took it in her stride and persevered like a true professional! It was a great night which concluded with more musical merriment. Prior to the entertainment commencing, as a token of our esteem, a miniature of Howff Club anniversary whisky was presented to lady President, Frances Scott, along with a poem on behalf of the club. All in all a very pleasant evening with good friends in the function suite at Galabank!

John Clark


Wreath Laying Service at St Michael’s Church 23/01/2015

A full house at St Michael’s Church enjoyed a service conducted by Rev Maurice Bond. The congregation was swelled by several classes of local primary school children who delighted those present with Burns music poetry and readings. Several Burns clubs were well presented. David Miller addressed the large gathering and a fitting oration from the pulpit was given by Prof. Gerry Carruthers. The chaplain to Glasgow university had the congregation spellbound with a trick involving a balancing act with nails and wood. He complimented the trick with some sound advice to the youngsters on problem solving which I dare-say had the adults thinking outside the box as well! The service concluded and the delegates progressed to the mausoleum where wreaths were laid respectfully to the memory of the bard. Between showers, Arthur Milton conducted the wreath laying ceremony and addressed the crowd. Congratulations must go the organisers of the event especially John Caskie and David Miller on their input and organising the event. Guests were then invited back to St Michael’s Church Hall for refreshments.

Friars Carse Burns Supper 24th January 2015

Following on from the successful Fish Supper held earlier in the year Gordon Johnstone gathered some hardened Howffers to entertain an intimate gathering at Friars Carse Hotel in the very room where Burns himself played out the infamous Whistle drinking competition. About 40 or so guests enjoyed a rather tasty meal and were entertained with an address to the haggis (by myself) piped in by club piper Calum Watson. David Smith BEM gave grace after dinner and was warmly applauded for his recent distinction of being included in this year’s Honours List.

Musical merriment was provided by our own Lee McQueen and songs by myself and Les Byers during the course of the evening.A hugely entertaining immortal memory was given by Les Byers (which may be in line for the Guinness Book of records for the lengthiest address ever without notes) ! Well done Les! Despite a rasping cough, Gordon J, MC’d the evening very ably and had us all chuckling with a sizeable selection of jokes and humorous anecdotes in his toast ‘tae the lassies Oh’. Ruth Thomson responded with finesse and a well thought light humoured reply. To round of the evening Les Byers (dressed in the famous gown and cap)gave a hilarious and enjoyable recitation of Holy Wullie’s prayer which will be remembered as much for the antics and humour as the content. The evening was concluded with some community singing and a rousing Auld Lang Syne. On retiring for the night the guests all made favourable comments about the evening which had been hugely enjoyed by both audience and speakers. Congratulations must go to Gordon Johnston for his organisational skills!

John Clark

(President Burns Howff Club)

residents blog Annan Ladies 2015