“It’s coming yet, for aw’ that”
Out to the Buccleuch Centre at Langhom on Friday 4th February with President Neil and PP John Caskie to see “Burns Bites Back” a show by the Idioms Theatre group based in the Borders. Having seen this last August at the Edinburgh Fringe, we knew what to expect and weren’t disappointed with the eclectic mix of music, poems, songs and a bravura recitation of “Tam” featuring Alex Pool on the bagpipes, all to great comic effect. A traditional meal followed before “despising wind and rain and fire” for the return journey. The club team, “The Burns Unit”, reformed for the annual Round Table Charity Pub Quiz in the Edenbank on 4th February and a small but perfectly formed group of members returned an impressive score of 60/100. Thanks are due to John Lauder, Gordon Johnston, Ian McIntyre and Ted Murray all of whom reassembled on the morrow at the Academy to assist with the SSCBA Schools Competitions. Once again, your blogger was amazed by the high standard of performances in singing, reciting and instrumental work and a great debt of thanks is due to the teachers and parents for their encouragement. The judges which included David Baird had an unenviable task. Again, the main hall in the Academy was perishing but thanks are due to members of Dumfries Ladies Burns Club No. 1 for the excellent snack lunch. That night, attended the first of the FoE Burns Suppers at Ellisland which was interesting and enjoyable. Met up with Moir Nelson and George Munro from Dumbarton Burns Club. The Executive Committee met on Monday 7th February and opinion was near unanimous that the 122nd Anniversary Dinner was outstanding for the speakers, artistes, meal and organisation. It was noted that other than the accompanist, all contributors were club members and were warmly thanked by the president.
Many members reported on their attendance at Burns Suppers far and wide. The “Burns Unit” gathered again on February 11th, this time the score shot up to 66/100 thanks to the cumulative brain power of David Miller, Rab Walker, William Johnston and the writer. It is suspected that the adjoining team from the Cooncil had sight of the questions in advance. The fifth Annual Burns Supper of the Befriending Project was held in the Easterbrook Hall on Saturday 12th when I had the pleasure of accompanying David and Norma Miller and Neil Johnston. Guests included Jane Brown who proposed an excellent toast to the “Immortal Memory” through the eyes of Jean Armour and a spot from John Glover whose impression of Max Boyce whilst perhaps unusual at a Burns Supper was droll and appreciated. John also addressed the Haggis with gusto. The least said the better about the toast to “The Lasses” but John Caskie’s superb tenor voice was well matched with sympathetic accompaniment on the keyboard from Peter Gunnell. Fraser Sanderson filled in as chairman in place of Alex Fergusson MSP who was overseas. The raffle and auction went on forever but the meal included a “Galloway Haggis” served in a light flaky pastry which was palatable. A bonus on the return journey when the taxi driver purchased a copy of the “Burns in Ukrainian” (honest).The club’s Burns Supper for the residents of Charnwood Lodge was held on 13th February when the concert party gathered at 6.00pm and were joined by Mr. Baird at 6.20pm, to be welcomed and piped to the top table by Callum Watson. The function went off satisfactorily but I am now of the opinion that long toasts should be dropped in favour of more songs and music for the old folk. Thanks are due to Frank Curran, Bill Welsh, Ian McIntyre, Gordon Johnston, David Baird and George McKinnell who stood in at the last minute as accompanist. A resident, Mrs Adeline McNaughton proposed a vote of thanks at the close.