Burns Champion Ian is a Bard act to follow

Ian Buick
Ian Buick

Proving once again that he is fluent in all things Burns, Ian Buick has once again tasted success at a Bard related competition.

Representing Whiteadder and Coldstream Burns Club, Ian beat off some strong contenders to be named World Champion John Lapraik Speaker 2013 at the contest of the same name last weekend.

The event is organised by the Ayrshire Association of Burns Clubs and commemorates the relationship between Robert Burns and the Muirkirk poet, John Lapraik.

Ian was no stranger to the competition having finished runner up before but he hoped his chosen prose- The Mairch o the Legions” by Liz Niven, and Robert Burns’s poem ‘Epistle to J. Lapraik, an Old Scottish Bard’. would help him move up a spot to first.

Placed last in the running order, Ian was able to see how his rivals fared in front of a panel of four adjudicators and an audience of Burns enthusiasts but he said this wasn’t so much of an advantage.

However, as some who suffers from stage fright this really didn’t do much for Ian’s nerves and his butterflies weren’t helped by the fact that he was having problems remembering a word.

“When I was rehearsing the poem on the Friday before I suddenly got a mind block on a word in the first line of the third last verse,” the newly crowned Lapraik champion explained. “The word was selfish. I just couldn’t remember it and the more I tried to remember the worse it got.

“I needed something to trigger my memory so I thought of what they sell at the harbour in Eyemouth.

“Fish, they sell fish so the word I wanted was selfish. It worked and I didn’t have any problem remembering the word in the competition.

Ian was given an extra spring in his step before stepping into the spotlight thanks to a passing comment from one of the judges.

“I was quite boosted when one of the adjudicators from last year had a quiet word with me before the competition and told me just how close I was to winning last year,”he continued.

“After I performed this year he came over and said ‘that was even better than last year, I think you’re the winner.”

The official proved to be correct and as Lapraik World Champion next year Ian will deliver the John Lapraik Memorial Reading over John Lapraik’s grave in Muirkirk and also be one on the judges for the 2014 contest.

He has also been asked to perform at the Burns Monument before Edinburgh and District’s all Scotland Burns Reciting Competition in July.