Turbulent Waves

September opened with the RBWF conference in Glasgow, well covered in Ian McIntyre’s contribution to the blog but delighted to witness the installation of honorary member Jane Brown as president for the ensuing year and hope she has a much fun and enjoyment as I had during my time in that office.
Shocking news on return that Sir George Reid had to cancel his visit in January to propose the “Immortal Memory” due to serious health problems but Brian Taylor brought his visit forward from 2015 to oblige. Sent a “get well” card to Sir George on behalf of the club. We were fortunate in attracting Fraser Sanderson to fill the gap in 2015. The SSCBA Quarterly Meeting on 14th September was taken up with reports from the conference and they agreed to a donation from funds to the RBWF President’s Appeal. Sunday 15th September was supposed to have been the annual bowling match with Dumbarton Burns Club, this year at Newall Terrace but they called off due to members being on holiday or sick. It was our turn to win this time but there’s always next year. Our librarian Gordon J. obtained a rare copy of Burns’ “London Edition” of 1787 in good condition and valued by our consultant William Robson at about £750.00. This was displayed at a meeting of the Library Sub Committee on 16th September where members were obliged to use rubber gloves. The Club Night programme opened on 26th September with an evening visit to the police museum at the Loreburn Street Station. 20 members shuffled up from the Globe and were met by the curator Joe Craig who conducted the party round a fascinating display of photos and artefacts of policing in Dumfries & Galloway from the 18th century to the present. A visit was made to the Custody Suite and the CCTV Monitor Room before Ian McIntyre proposed a vote of thanks to Joe and presented a copy of his mother’s Constable’s Handbook from 1932. Sunday 29th September, a superb concert in the Globe by a foursome from St. Petersburg, Russia, who delighted the packed house with their knowledge of Scotland and their songs and readings in immaculate “Scots/ English”. Andy MacKay’s first class autumn edition of the “Howff News” ready for posting. Wednesday 2nd October, met with President Godfrey to construct the programme for the Hallowe’en Supper which looks good on paper and hope that most of the company will wait to the end. Excom meeting on 7th October for provisional issue of Hallowe’en tickets but the meeting was overshadowed by news of a threat from the Council to close Burns House and other Burns’ visitor attractions due to “budget cuts”. Personally, I didn’t take this seriously as I suspect that the Council were creating a smokescreen to achieve other targets by stealth while attention was taken up by the Burns’ issues. A meeting was scheduled at Gracefield on 14th October with “stakeholders” but the club would send a letter of objection as would individual members. Committee agreed to confer honorary membership on Peter Westwood for presentation at Hallowe’en . Don’t know why this was not done years ago. Sunday 13th October, a visitation from a party of 17 from Coldstream Burns Club and assisted with the reception and the “ten cent tour”. It was a pleasure to meet genuine Burns enthusiasts and they were appreciative of the turnout from the club. Thanks to Dan Cook, John Lauder, Ian McIntyre, Gordon Johnston, Tom Johnstone and Godfrey Bedford. Meantime, news of a Council revolt and a change of administration followed by the withdrawal of the proposals for the closure of the Burns sites. Who do they think they were fooling!!! Tuesday 15th October, out to Carlisle with Treasurer Frank Manson and honorary president Dan Cook to the nearest branch of “Virgin Money” to open an account which should attract a better interest rate than local banks. Met by the delightful “Kimberley”, a doonhamer who was gracious. This was followed by a delicious treacle scone and coffee at a quaint olde worlde cafe before the return journey in Frank’s Porche. Excom meeting on 21st October for confirmation and payment of Hallowe’en tickets. The number was closed at 76 which should be comfortable. David Miller tried out his ticket and seating form and it will be interesting to see if it works. The October Club Night on 24th was first class with an illustrated talk by Ian McIntyre on “Sir James Crichton Brown” a Victorian character and pioneer of modern psychiatry who had many Dumfries connections. Ian’s knowledge and enthusiasm for his subject was communicated to his audience supplemented by Neil Johnston’s skill in operating the Magic Lantern. Had the pleasure in moving the Vote of Thanks in place of President Godfrey who was unable to attend. Superb shortbread followed.
Friday 25th, with David and Norma Miller, attended a concert in Maxwelltown West Church by the Male Voice Choir in aid of the church Organ Fund. The guest soloist was Christian Taylor, a baritone/tenor. The choir was in good voice and the programme was light and hugely enjoyable. Spotted several members in the choir and audience.