Laurencekirk Rotary Club toasts the Bard

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President Maitland Wilson welcomed Laurencekirk Rotary members and guests to their annual Burns Supper in the Crown Hotel and gave the Selkirk Grace.

Chairman for the event, Mike Robson, “ tauld his queerest stories” and the audience’s “laugh was ready chorus”. Local piper Davie Duncan skirled in the haggis carried by Kirsty Hair dressed in true cutty sark style – “in longitude tho’ scarcely scanty, it was her best and she was vauntie.”

Vice President, Sandra Bartram, addressed and dispatched the haggis with consummate skill and gusto.

Eight members of the Burns Quoir who practice at the Drumlithie Hotel and draw their singers from the Howe and the coastal villages proved a real hit. They sang their Burns songs beautifully including the Lea-Rig , Rantin Rovin Robin and Green Grow the Rashes, O and would prove an entertaining asset at any Burns celebration.

One of their members, former English teacher, Celia Craig then proposed “the Immortal Memory.” With very few notes and quoting freely from his works, she successfully convinced her audience that Burns deserved to be immortalised for his sensitive traits as a man and his huge poetic productivity and the sheer brilliance of his works. She debunked his biographer Henry McKenzie’s observation that he was a “heaven taught ploughman.”

Burns, in fact, had a good education for his times and worked hard at and was highly innovative at his word smithing craft.

Some of his finest works came from his dalliances with the lasses and Jerry Dawson proposed a humorous “Toast to the Lasses.” He threw caution to the wind and poked fun at many of their frailties but wisely retrieved the balance with a fine rendition of Maurice Chevalier’s “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.”

Sue Briggs gave a very robust reply but also ended on a conciliatory note and asked the ladies for a resounding “ Toast” to the male members. The sudden eviction of an unfortunate Ayrshire mouse in driech November sleet as portrayed in “To a Mouse” was recited by David Johnston in his inimitable style.

Maitland Wilson proposed the vote of thanks.