Whiteadder Burns Club celebrates its diamond jubilee in fine style

Chirnside Burn Supper at The Robin's Nest. With guest speaker Jim Shields, president of the Robert Burns Federation.
Chirnside Burn Supper at The Robin's Nest. With guest speaker Jim Shields, president of the Robert Burns Federation.

Whiteadder Burns Club members and guests were taken into the heart and mind of Robert Burns in his own words on Monday.

Celebrating their diamond jubilee on the same day that the Queen marked the 60th year since her accession, the club welcomed Jim Shields, president of the world federation.

He received a standing ovation after an Immortal Memory in which he quoted passages from several poems and sang excerpts of well-loved songs.

The Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire, Major Alexander Trotter, proposed The Loyal Toast and he said the Queen was now the second longest reigning sovereign in the world. She had given the most marvellous service and her diamond jubilee celebrations would be marked in the county and all over Britain.

Presiding on this momentous occasion, club chairman Peter Walker (Eyemouth) welcomed everyone and addressed the Haggis, piped in by Pipe Major Andrew Ainslie (Gavinton). The Podlies (Eyemouth) sang The Selkirk Grace. Special guests included Sandy Murray, chairman of the Borders federation.

Before giving The Immortal Memory, Mr Shields presented the Lord Lieutenant with a Kilmarnock edition of Burns poems and revealed a special badge would be presented to club stalwart Peter Craig (Eyemouth) who is recovering in hospital from a serious illness.

Mr Shields told the audience that Burns was all things to all men. He had the genius which enabled him to weave together the whole spectrum of words.

The longest serving member, Wattie Robertson (Allanton), who joined in 1955, gave the toast to the club.

An entertaining and humorous Toast to the Lasses was proposed by Tim Sewell (Shilbottle). The Toast to the chairman was given by John Gardiner (Berwick), the vice chairman.

Mr Gardiner, secretary and treasurer for 23 years, will become chairman for 2012/13.

Bruce Thomson was accompanist and Jim Tarvit musical director for an outstanding programme of entertainment. Sandy Watson recited ‘Tam O ‘Shanter’, Bruce Henry recited ‘Cottar’s Saturday Night’and Ian Buick gave his rendition of ‘Holy Wullie’s Prayer’.

Others taking part were Ken Taylor, Bruce Thomson, Rob Cockburn, Gary Smith, Grant Rees and Alistair Lindsay.

At the close the world president thanked Whiteadder for providing him with such an enjoyable evening and paid tribute to Mr Henry and addred the wealth of talent was fantastic.