Coldstream Burns Club raises a toast to the Bard

Main photo: Coldstream Burns Club Supper 2020 top table: Front: David Douglas, chairman; The Reverend John Shields; John Elliot, secretary; Back: Rob Smith, president; Raymond Brydon and Bill Rutherford. Top right: David Shepherd addresses the Haggis; middle: The Reverend John Shields toasts The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns, bottom: The haggis is carried in by Bobby Hanlon tae the Skirl of Rob Bell's pipes. (Photos: David Guthrie).
Main photo: Coldstream Burns Club Supper 2020 top table: Front: David Douglas, chairman; The Reverend John Shields; John Elliot, secretary; Back: Rob Smith, president; Raymond Brydon and Bill Rutherford. Top right: David Shepherd addresses the Haggis; middle: The Reverend John Shields toasts The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns, bottom: The haggis is carried in by Bobby Hanlon tae the Skirl of Rob Bell's pipes. (Photos: David Guthrie).

Coldstream Burns Club celebrated its 132nd anniversary last Saturday at the annual supper in the British Legion Club.

The meal was preceded by the Selkirk Grace delivered by club secretary John Elliot.

The entertainment got off to the usual start with the arrival of the haggis carried high by Bobby Hanlon to the skirl of Rob Bell’s pipes and addressed by club member David Shepherd.

David brought his own individual slant to the toast which he delivered with gusto and more than a soupcon of humour.

An excellent meal prepared and served in the usual efficient manner by Sonia Martin and her assistants was duly enjoyed.

Principal guest for the evening was the Reverend John Shields, a former Army Padre who now resides in Ednam. In proposing the toast to the Immortal Memory of the Bard he delivered a truly top class appreciation of Burns’ life which held the attention and captured the imagination of his audience who responded with a well deserved standing ovation.

The toast was followed by the lament played with feeling by Piper Rob Bell.

The toast to “The toun” was proposed by club member and well-respected after dinner speaker Bill Rutherford.

Bill’s toasts are always filled with humour either in the form of jokes or anecdotes, usually set locally and involving local characters, past and present, and Saturday night’s contribution was no exception drawing much laughter from the members.

The toast “To the lasses” was proposed by ex-Coldstreamer, (1963) Raymond Brydon.

Raymond proposed the toast in his usual nonchalant but very humorous manner making sure he praised the fairer sex as well as poking fun at them and duly winning the plaudits of his audience.

Over the years “Tam O’ Shanter” has been recited by many different people each in their own personal manner.

On Saturday night the club members were treated to an outstanding performance of Burns’ classic poem by Rob Smith which would be hard to better.

Rob Bell, with musical backing from Kenny Brodie, added further to an evening of top class recitation by performing their original version of “The Sodjer’s Return”.

Throughout the evening the musicians and singers performed to the highest of standards.

K2, namely Kenny Hilsley and Kenny Brodie, were at their professional best, placing their own stamp on classics like “Ca the Yowes”, “Green grow the rashes o” and “The Braes of Ballochmyle”, the latter song being new to their repertoire receiving the plaudits it deserved.

Add perennial favourite Bobby Hanlon and you have a perfect recipe for musical enjoyment.

Bobby concluded the night’s entertainment with the Burns favourite “Ae fond kiss”, a song, as far as the members are concerned, he has made his own. Bobby was accompanied on piano by Chris Fawdon, in the absence for health reasons of regular and popular pianist Ken Pritchard.

Chris also provided the accompaniment for the community singing and did a fine job throughout the evening.

At the end of an evening controlled with care, competence and good humour by chairman David Douglas, the members united in voice to traditionally sing “Auld Lang Syne”.