The prestige of the Whiteadder Burns Club received a major boost on Monday when one of the leading figures in the World Federation, vice president Jim Shields, was a guest.
Not only did he come through difficult weather conditions to reach the Robin’s Nest at Chirnside, he also delighted members of Whiteadder Burns Club by singing two numbers, one of which he penned himself as a tribute to the bard.
Welcoming the guests, club chairman Frank Millar (Duns) said it was a great honour to welcome Mr Shields and also Sandy Murray, president of the Border Federation.
It was an outstanding evening of speeches and entertainment, highlighted by a stirring immortal memory from Mr Jim Royan of Elgin who, dressed in the style of Burns, and took his audience on a journey through the life of the poet, songwriter, social commentator and wordsmith.
The chairman addressed the haggis, piped in by Scott Holmes, who deputised for Andrew Ainslie who was away on business. The Selkirk Grace was sung by The Podlies (Eyemouth) and Mr Millar gave the toast to the Queen.
Proposing the toast to the ladies was Grant Lees (Galashiels) who was in top form as was Tim Sewell (Shilbottle) making his debut as a speaker. Peter Walker (Eyemouth) who takes over as the new chairman gave the toast to Mr Millar, who thanked the Robin’s Nest staff for a splendid meal.
Musical director for the evening was Jim Tarvit (Eyemouth), and filling in at 24 hours notice when Bruce Thomson took ill was Bob Liddle (Kelso) who also excelled.
Peter Craig (Eyemouth), Ian Buick (Berwick) and Rob Cockburn (Coldstream) gave a sparkling performance of Tam O’Shanter, Ian Buick recited ‘Holy Wullie’s Prayer’ and Peter Walker and Sandy Watson teamed up for ‘Death and Dr Hornbook’. Murray Henderson (Duns) recited ‘Willie Wastle’.
Also enhancing a fine programme were Ken Taylor (Eyemouth), Jim Tarvit, Tom Nesbit, Bob Liddle, Russel Robertson (Galashiels) and Rob Cockburn.
At the annual meeting held earlier Mr Millar paid tribute to Eddie Kelly (Eyemouth) and Albert Wood (Duns), two stalwarts of the Club who had died recently.
Secretary John Gardiner (Berwick) reported a sound financial situation.