Registered Charity SC005224

2016 Sportsmans Dinner

2016 Sportsmans Dinner

This years Sportsmans Dinner had been greatly anticipated and there was a buzz in the hall as the Preses rose and asked for order. After a few welcoming words from the Preses we invited our special guests, local Olympians Derek and Callum Hawkins, to receive a small token of our esteem. Grace was said and dinner was served. Once again the food was wonderful, after we were all stuffed and nibbling on the cheese and crackers the legend that is Frank McAvennie stood and regaled us with tales from his football career to the delight and hilarity of the room. A few myths were burst and characters traduced. With the room now full of Bon Hommé and compliant the Preses announced the raffle and asked our guests to draw the winners. There were cash prizes as well as bottles. The auction of a four-balls in St Andrews and Dundonald raised over £600 for the Society.   After a short comfort break for the Sportsmen Sandy Strang stood and delivered a brilliantly funny monologue. Sandy had the room eating out of his hand. After his talk the Preses expressed our thanks to all the speakers, guests and diners for making this year’s Sportsmans Dinner one of the best we have...

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The Antiques Roadshow Adventure

The Antiques Roadshow Adventure

Thursday the 28th July saw the Preses accompanied by Mrs Preses and three of our finest Managers (acting as bodyguards), head off to the World Heritage site of New Lanark. The plan was to get the General Society in front of the experts in the Antiques Roadshow. As the Society has just celebrated its 250th Anniversary we thought we could inject a bit more interest in our life and work around the Village of Kilbarchan. Having been in touch earlier to “tell our story” the Preses was given VIP Guest access for himself and his group of guests. Upon arriving at the entrance and waving our VIP pass we were whisked past the already humongous queue to be fast tracked and triaged by the first line of experts. We were made very welcomed by Natalie Harris who made suitable and knowing noises as we produced the Preses Chain of Office and the painting of Habbie Simpson, having been taken down from his spot in the Ladies Room, to join us on our adventure. Natalie called the show producer to show him our wares and see if our goods were worthy of airtime, our hearts skipped a beat. Could this be our big break into show biz? A day of filming with herself, the wonderful Fiona Bruce? Would the painting of Habbie feature on Fake or Fortune? Sadly our early hopes were cruelly dashed when the Producer informed us that they didn’t like to show a Chain of Office, as this did not belong to an individual. They knew that at every Roadshow the Mayoral Chain would make an appearance and so as not to offend anybody they had taken the decision not to feature any of these, no matter what the history. Hopes slightly dashed, we were given tickets to see different experts in Jewellery and Paintings. We were very quickly seen by jewellery expert Joanna Hardy who made very appreciative comments on the splendour of the chain and was fascinated by its history. First commissioned in 1932 the chain had been supplied by Edward and Son jewellers of Glasgow, the hallmarking showed this and the fact it was a solid 9 carat gold beauty. Joanna wanted to have her colleague Geoffrey Munn examine the chain and give further consideration to its worth. A wait for Geoffrey was expected as he was off filming something special. Having some time on our hands...

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2016 Burns Supper

2016 Burns Supper

Saturday the 16th of January dawned white and slidey. As the day progressed it became apparent that the weather could have an impact on the attendance at the Annual Burns Supper. When the Managers met at 2 o’clock there had already been call offs from people in the outlying areas with concerns about getting home due to the snow but the numbers weren’t alarming from an organisational point of view. What was alarming was how long the annual seat allocation melee took. The venue began filling about 5 o’clock and by the start time of 6pm over 70 of the original 90 guests had braved the elements and our 42nd Annual Burns Supper could begin. Pipe Major Brian Knight piped in the top table and Preses Kerr introduced them; Mr McCosh, Mr Ross, Mr Shaw and Mr Black. The Pipe Major then lead the haggis into the room and Mr McCosh addressed and saluted it. S Vaughan and O Jones reprised their roles from last year as haggis and whisky bearers. E Black said grace and the soup was served, once again the Elderslie Inn provided a traditional Burns feast of belly bursting proportions. After the Loyal Toast the Preses invited The Baun (Andy Hay and Norrie Currie) to lead us in A man’s a man, Andy and Norrie were on top form as were the General Society choir. The Preses introduced Mr Ian Ross and asked him to deliver this year’s Immortal Memory, my son (at his first Burns supper) sat back preparing to be bored stiff but was soon being delighted by the mixture of bawdy humour and insights into the works of Burns and his universal appeal. Alan Gordon donned the blue bunnet and gave us a world class rendition of Tam O Shanter, standing on a chair as Meg skelpit on thro’ dub and mire and admonishing us to the evils of drink and cutty sarks. After this excitement Andy and Norrie lead the company in singing The Bonnie Lass O Ballochmyle Bob Shaw toasted the Lassies in wonderfully rumbustious style pausing only to horribly traduce the Managers of the Society. With the Lassies well and truly toasted the Pipe Major played a selection of tunes before Mr McCosh recited A Man’s a man, he sang the last verse with the support of the company. After a short break The Baun played The Habbies O Kilbarchan with the General Society Male Voice...

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2015 AGM

2015 AGM

The Preses, A Connell, began the AGM with a word of thanks to all those who were in attendance. Apologies were noted from A Gordon and the Clerk read the minutes from the 2014 AGM, these were adopted as a true record of the proceedings. The Preses then lead a minutes silence for all the Society members who had passed away in the last year. J Farmer delivered a report on the financial health of the Society and listed the organisations and individuals we had made donations to. The Auditors gave the Books a clean bill of health and commended Mr Farmer on his good work. Preses Connell then removed the chain of office and placed it over the shoulders of our new Preses Mr N Kerr who thanked Drew for his hard work organising the 250th Anniversary year. He then asked the assembly to vote Mr E Black his Vice Preses, this was carried unanimously. The Clerk, Officer and Treasurer were returned unopposed and Mr J Wallace was reelected for a further 3 year term as a manager. The Society has been running with a deficiency of managers for the last few years so it gave us great pleasure to Co-opt S Tennant and D Blair onto the committee. It is felt that they will be a huge asset to the Society going forward. The assembly thanked D Connell for his hard work over the years as he is standing down as a manager. The Committee and Members attendant would like to thank Mrs Kerr for providing the refreshments and to the staff of the Kilbarchan Bowling Club for hosting...

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250th Anniversary Dinner

250th Anniversary Dinner

On Saturday 14th of November the Society held a celebratory dinner to mark the 250th anniversary of our founding. Renfrewshire Council were hosting us a Drinks Reception in Johnstone Town Hall prior to the main meal, guests mingled and viewed the small display of Society artifacts including the original 1765 membership and minutes books. There were a lot of old acquaintances remade.Just after 7 0’clock the Piper played to usher the company into the main hall for dinner then led the top table into the room. Our top Table was made up of Preses Andrew Connell and his lady wife, Vice Preses Norman Kerr and his lady wife, Provost Anne Hall, Rev Ian Millar, and Councillors Andy and Audrey Doig. After the Preses opening remarks Eric Black said grace and we stood for a minutes silence in remembrance of the murdered in Paris before dinner was served. The catering staff had prepared the hall beautifully and the menu of Lentil Soup, Steak Pie and Veg and Cheesecake for pudding hit the spot. Now replete the company filled the envelopes provided with cash for the draw before settling in for the speeches, we had never intended to run this dinner as a fundraiser and this was a last minute decision prompted by applications from two village organisation for funding. Andrew Connell thanked the company for attending and thanked all the Past Preses for their attendance before embarking on a short history of the Society with many memories and anecdotes. Provost Anne Hall thanked us for her invitation and extolled the virtues of organisations like The Society. Provost Hall supports local charities through her Provost’s Charity Fund, we applaud her work. The Reverend Ian Millar was our next speaker, Ian is a well kent Habbie, his speech dispensed with much of his after dinner routine as he reminisced about his childhood in the village to riotous applause. We were painted a word picture of the old life of Kilbarchan interspersed with anecdotes and ribald jokes. As well as the top table the Society had invited Andy and Norman (The Bawn), who have played at 40 of our last 41 Burns Suppers. They didn’t have to sing for their supper this time. After the speeches the Provost drew the names for the prize draw, there were 2 prizes; a 3 litre bottle of Teachers whisky and a specially blended bottle of 250th Anniversary...

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