No man ever wrote with so much compassion for his country and his fellow man than Robert Burns - he wrote about simple things using simple words.
That is how Davie Scott decribed Burns when he gave a superb Immortal Memory at Duns Burns Club’s 60th annual supper held in the White Swan Hotel on Friday evening.
Chairman Ian Turnbull welcomed around 80 members and guests to the 60th annual supper and, after the Haggis was traditionally piped in by Pipe Major Andrew Ainslie, he gave the ‘Adress tae the Haggis’ in his own inimitable style. An excellent meal of Scotch kail, haggis, neeps and tatties was much enjoyed.
In his informative and at times hilarious Immortal Memory, Davie Scott said: “Our way of life, our history, our legacies and tradition were being lost until this man Burns came on the scene.
“What we see in Burns is a social commentator, a patriotic Scot, a philosopher, a songster of the highest degree and one of the world’s greatest poets, if not the world’s greatest poet.”
The toast ‘tae the toon’ was very ably given by Reiver Scott Lackenby who spoke about how proud he was to have been Reiver and to take part in the Flodden 500 celebrations. Scott said Duns was “a wee toon” but one that punched above its weight.
He concluded: “Duns is the best wee toon in the Borders, the best wee toon in Scotland and the best wee toon in the world!”
The Rev Stephen Blakey proposed the “Toast tae the Lassies” and spoke about the bard’s love of the fairer sex. The reply was very ably given by Wendy Turnbull who had her audience in stitches were her jokes and anecdotes.
During the evening there was a variety of entertainment of the highest calibre. The company sang ‘Rantin’, Rovin’ Robin’ and ‘Green Grow the Rashes’, accompanied by Ronald Drummond, while Ian Buick, a Burnsian of world renown, gave a superb rendition of ‘Tam O’Shanter’.
Cheryl Forman, from Eyemouth, played a selection of Burns tunes on her fiddle and received a great ovation as did Reiver Scott Lackenby and Ronald Drummond for their solos and Robert Cockburn for his recitations. Pipe Major Andrew Anislie entertained on the pipes.
The ‘Hosts, Guests and Artistes’ were thanked by the chairman before Sandy Brydon proposed the toast ‘Tae the Chair’ and an excellent evening came to a close with the singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.