An Extract from Twelve Talk Special Edition No 10 - Burns Supper 2015
No XII Charity Burns Supper 2015
Most Successful Yet – over £6,000 raised for Charity!
The Burns Supper on Saturday 28th February was a huge success. We had our biggest attendence yet at Inverclyde’s biggest Burns Supper and the Town Hall was looking absolutely spectacular. Tony Buckley’s team, assisted by the Inverclyde Leisure staff, had the place beautifully set out and the whole spectacle was set off by the Lodge’s old Square and Compasses having pride of place on the stage. This was reminiscent of years gone by when they always had that place at our big occasions. The illuminated square and compasses was donated to the Lodge by Bro Thos McIntyre WSW on 13th December 1938.
Our Lodge Piper Bro Alasdair Beaton PM of Lodge The Gael No 609 brought in the the top table and got the evening under way in traditional style. Perhaps not so traditional was the Alarm received by Worshipful Junior Warden Bro Bob Crossan from Inner Guard Bro Bob Bain. ‘The haggis demands admission’, he was told. This information was relayed to RWM Bro Captain Allan I MacFeate who immediately acceded. The beast was duly borne in by Bro Tony Buckley, our Senior Deacon and the chef for the evening, and Bro Alasdair played appropriate Burns tunes on the pipes. Bro Alan D Beck IPM addressed the haggis with great gusto. Drams were taken
Greenock Burns Club (The Mother Club) is the world’s oldest Burns Club. We were delighted to have its President, Bro Billy McCready, as our guest at the Top Table. It was also great to have our affiliate member, and Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire West, Bro James P. Livingstone, with us. We were very pleased that he willingly agreed to deliver the Grace before we had our meal and did so with great dignity. Regarding the food, I lost count of the number of people who commented on how wonderful the meal was and ICE (Inverclyde Catering and Events), and its proprietor Bro Tony Buckley, are to be congratulated for doing such a superb job.
Bro Iain White PM reprised the role he played in 2012 by delivering the Immortal Memory. This time he had a focus on friendship and how Burns had many friends because of his nature and sociability. These friends had a significant impact on Burns’ life and works and this notion was teased out by Bro Iain. The Toast to the Lassies was deliverd by Bro Iain T. Gordon (JD The Bridgeton and Glasgow Shamrock and Thistle Lodge No 275) and he too had spoken in 2012. A retired senior Police Officer, Bro Iain drew on his life in ‘the polis’ and linked many hilarious stories to where he had served as one of ‘Strathclyde’s Finest’. As well as giving the company a real good laugh, Bro Iain gave us an insight into the way in which Robert Burns’ fondness for the Lassies impacted on his poetry.
Our readers, Bro David Vennard PM (The Glasgow Kilwinning Lodge No 4) and Bro Sandy Reddy both recited epic works of Burns. Bro David’s was ‘Tam O’ Shanter’. Bro Sandy’s was ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’ and both poems were expertly delivered and much enjoyed by the company
When we join the craft, helping those less fortunate than ourselves is given great emphasis. The charitable aspect of the Burns Supper is very important and we are grateful to all of those who supported us by generous donations before, or during, the evening. All the raffles and auctions got a great turn. Our auctioneer, Bro Paul Galbraith did his usual great job and he was ably assisted by Bros Jim McGregor and Bob Crossan. In the final analysis over £5,700 was raised for the charities in the raffles, auctions and donations on the evening and £6,152.70 in total. The work of the Charity Drive goes on throughout the year with collections at every meeting. There will be a raffle for a gallon of whisky on Thursday 4th June at the Summer Meeting.
The charities that will benefit in 2015 are the Erskine Home for veterans, Sir Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home, Children in Poverty Inverclyde and Dreams Come True Inverclyde. RWM Bro Allan I MacFeate nominated the first three charities, whilst the fourth was the choice of Provost Robert Moran. Bro Cllr David Wilson, Deputy Provost of Inverclyde and Honorary Member of No XII, represented the Provost at the Burns Supper and amused us all with his tales which loosely fitted the programme description ‘Deputy Provost’s Remarks’! Bro David also spoke of the close relationship between No XII and the Corporation and Council stretching back as far as 1766.
The musical entertainment was simply out of this world. We are all well aware of IPM Bro Alan Beck’s professionalism as a singer and we
had the joy of hearing him sing not just Burns, but other Scottish songs too. Talking about professionalism, how lucky we were that Alan had Craig Dunsmore accompany him again. As I watch Craig’s fingers dance over the keyboard it fills me with wonder and he and Bro Alan are a great duo. Their efforts were complemented by Jamie Stables and Alasdair McCorkell on trumpet and Andy McAlees on drums. Greenock’s got talent, for sure! The musicians added a great deal to the quality of the evening by their expert playing.
Before the evening was rounded off by the company singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in rousing fashion, Bro Bob Bain PM paid the wages of. appreciation A particular ‘Thank you’ is due to Past Master Bro Ian Ross who Chaired the evening so expertly for us. He kept the whole thing moving along whilst injecting his own inimitable humour at appropriate points in the proceedings.
As the Bard himself had it in ‘The Twa Dogs’, ‘An’ each took aff his several way, resolv’d to meet some ither day’. Well in our case, the date for your diary is
Views expressed by individuals within XII Talk do not necessarily represent the views of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No XII. Unless otherwise stated, Bro Iain White PM is the author of all material.