Stonehaven links up with US twin for online Burns ‘lesson’

Dave Ramsay during the online link-up along with Phil Mills-Bishop, left, and Richard Holman-Baird, twinning group secretary
Dave Ramsay during the online link-up along with Phil Mills-Bishop, left, and Richard Holman-Baird, twinning group secretary

Pupils in Stonehaven’s twin city of Athens in Alabama have been given an insight into the Bard.

An internet link was set-up with iAcademy Elementary School on Monday in which the youngsters learned all about Burns.

It was the latest in a series of online history lessons organised by Stonehaven and NE Scotland Twinning Group and the town’s US twin.

Dave Ramsay, of Mearns Heritage Services, gave an address to the haggis in full Highland dress.

The pupils had already been sent the English translation so that they could follow the poem as it was being enacted.

As well as the address, Dave outlined the key points about Burns suppers.

As part of the twinning link, he told pupils that Abraham Lincoln gave the Immortal Memory to Robert Burns at an event in Springfield, Illinois in 1859, on the centenary of the Bard’s birth.

Local links included Burns’ visit to Stonehaven on his Highland tour of 1787, stopping with relatives and seeing family graves in Glenbervie.

Phil Mills-Bishop, twinning group chair, said: “It was another successful session and Dave was a great storyteller with a wealth of stories about Burns and his local Stonehaven and Mearns roots.

“I was also amazed at how much Burns is revered in US and used as an exemplar from Abraham Lincoln down to Bob Dylan.”

The next history topic, chosen by the Athens pupils, will be about Scottish castles, ghosts and monsters.