Another full house at the Carron Restaurant last Wednesday enjoyed the latest Burns Supper hosted by the Stonehaven (Fatherland) Burns Club. Although not at his ribald best owing to a bout of flu, President Iain McFadden showed flashes of his renowned wit and ensured that the night adhered to its schedule, at least until the tail end.
In that stunning art-deco setting, Gibby McNaught piped in the haggis which was carried aloft by the evergreen Jim McAllan, and after the customary drams, Gwynne Stewart duly set about the beastie with knife glinting as she delivered a flowing Address. This was followed by the Loyal Toast from Iain aka “Skirlie” and the Selkirk Grace from Pamela McFadden.
A sensitive tribute to the late and much loved Alfie Smith was offered by Irene Squires with a reply by the family, who were there in numbers. The Immortal Memory then followed from Dr Ian Duncan of Glamis, who delivered a master-class on the subject matter, in which he brilliantly depicted Burns as the pop star playboy of his day. Musical interludes by Tommy Ewing and Mitchell Davidson, together with songs from the whole company, punctuated the proceedings. Alex and Linda Johnstone fairly bounced off each other in delivering “The Lasses” and the “Reply” respectively. Doug Galloway then gave a sparkling rendition of Holy Willie’s Prayer as he memorably quartered the room in night gown with flickering candle and massive bible in hand. A fact-filled but rather protracted “Scotland Yet” followed from local Doric and north-east culture expert David Northcroft before David MacDonald rose to propose the “Toast to the Guests”. The whole company joined in singing “The Star of Rabbie Burns” before ending the celebration in time-honoured fashion with “Auld Lang Syne”.
Honorary Life Memberships were conferred that evening on Jim and Rosie McAllan.
Incidentally, the Stonehaven Club is unique worldwide in being the only one entitled to include “Fatherland” in its name to mark the long line of Burns’ forebears who toiled the Mearns soil before his father left for Edinburgh and then Ayrshire. Where, as they say, the rest is history. Membership is readily available through Russell Adams on Stonehaven 763524.