Ian can ‘Whistle’ the tune of success as world champion

Ian Buick winning the Whistle reciting competition
Ian Buick winning the Whistle reciting competition

A MAN known on both sides of the Border for his love of Burns and his knack for reciting the bard’s words with enthusiastic precision has tasted success yet again, in a competition celebrating one of Burns’ poems.

Ian Buick has taken home silverware from a number of events over the years, and he emerged victorious at another at the weekend - the Robert Burns ‘Whistle’ World Championship in Dumfries.

Fittingly, the competition was held at Burns’ former home at Ellisland Farm, and was based on entrants’ reciting of his ballad ‘The Whistle’, about a drinking competition where the winner would take home a whistle as their prize.

The first of such competitions was held at Friars Carse, just up the road from Ellisland, 223 years ago and Burns was asked to witness it which led to the poem being written.

Ian was the first entrant to perform the 18 verse ballad in front of Saturday’s judging panel made up of Isa Hanley, convenor of Schools Competitions for the Burns World Federation; Mike Duguid Past President of the Robert Burns World federation and Cameron Goodall, twice winner of the ‘Whistle’ world championships since they were revived as reciting competition by Tornhill Burns Club in 2009.

Although he admitted he wasn’t too happy to be on first, as it was the first time he’d performed ‘The Whistle’ in public, Ian obviously impressed and took home a bottle of whisky and a replica of the original whistle for his efforts.

By coincidence a film company were at Ellisland Farm on Saturday and they filmed ‘The Whistle’ contest as part of the documentary, with the man in the role of Burns presenting Ian with his prizes.