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2019 Burns Supper

2019 Burns Supper

The 2019 celebration of the life and works of Robert Burns began with the traditional grand seating ballet as guests places in the seating plan were arranged around move and counter-move by those arched seat wranglers the Managers of the Society. Once the seating is finalised we disband and let the professionals get on with preparing the hall.

Our guests began arriving just after 5pm and it looked like being another full house. The lounge bar buzzed to the meeting of old friends. The formal part of the evening began with the assembly standing to receive their top table. Piper Kerr led Vice Preses S Tennant, Mr I Zycinski, Preses D Blair, Mr A MacMillan and Mr J Wallace to their places. Preses Blair introduced his top table to the assembly before Piper Kerr piped in the Haggis, carried by Mr G Bell. Mr D Dunlop carried the whisky for the toast.

Mr J Wallace toasted the Haggis in grand style and cut it up wi ready slicht. The Vice Preses said Grace and supper was served. This is probably the quietest time of the night as the diners get stuck into their soup, haggis and neeps, steak pie and veg and cheese. However the cheese (Cheesegate as it’s now officially known) caused me some heartache, to quote Para Handy, ” it was like the herrings in Loch Fyne, it wasna in it.” The cheese was missing and no sooner had the Preses apologise to the assembly for its absence than with pantomime timing the caterer arrived with the precious curds.

Mr J Wallace cutting up the Haggis wi ready slicht.

Piper Kerr entertained the assembly with some new tunes and some old favourites before Mr I Zycinski rose to give a very personal and reflective Immortal Memory. We are very fortunate at Kilbarchan General Society in having Mr A Gordon to call upon to perform Tam O Shanter for us. Alan looked resplendent is his Guid Blue Bonnet and braces as he skelpit on through dub and mire.

Mr A Gordon performing Tam O Shanter

The singing of the Lass O Ballochmyle brought this part of the evening to a short hiatus while glasses were recharged. Mr A MacMillan got the proceedings back underway with a wonderfully self deprecating and hilarious Toast to the Lassies. Our new band played a selection of Burns songs, inviting the assembly to join in. Andy Hay, who sang at the suppers for 40 years, always referred to this as the General Society Male Voice Choir, although if in mockery or affection we’re not sure. After Joe and Mark led us in singing the Kilbarchan National Anthem (Habbies O Kilbarchan) Mr J Wallace rose to give the Toast to the Society.

The later part of the evening drove on wi sang and clatter and aye the ale was growing better. Mr J Wallace in fez and dressing gown castigated the Preses and assembly while introduced Holy Willie’s Prayer which he delivered in the dark. There was then more singing before Vice Preses Tennant gave the Vote of Thanks and the assembly sang the Star O Rabbie Burns and finished the evening with Old Lang Syne. For some this was the end of their first Burns Supper and it was good to see three generations of Connells enjoying themselves.

Drew, David and Craig Connell

It only remains to thank everyone who makes these evenings so enjoyable; Tom and his catering crew, the speakers and performers and Kilbarchan Bowling Club for hosting us.

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