A rousing ‘Address to the Haggis’ by Immediate Past President Bob Stewart was one of the many highlights of Cupar Burns Club’s annual supper in the town’s Corn Exchange last Friday night.
Kirriemuir man Bob, a long-serving stalwart of the club and a past president of the Robert Burns World Federation, has helmed a number of the annual dinners over the years and was an ideal choice to address the “beast” after handing over office to new incumbent Keith McIntosh.
Once again it was a fine evening of fellowship and excellent fare with a sparkling top table of guests, among them the incomparable James Brown whose ‘Immortal Memory’ was a real triumph.
James’ very rounded appreciation of the bard as poet, writer and hard-working man set a pace which Tam O’Shanter’s grey mare, Meg, would have struggled to match. A sheer pleasure for the company and guests.
Sticking with Tam O’Shanter, the epic poem was chosen as one of the excerpts from Burns’ works by Jim Aitken, returning by popular demand, whose woebegone features belie a fine sense of humour and comic timing and the club were pleased to welcome him back.
Robust West Coast humour was the medium of choice deployed by popular Burnsian and former police superintendent, John Haining, while proposing a rousing ‘Toast to the Lasses’. The poet’s popularity with - and fondness for - the ladies is almost as well documented as his musical and literary works. According to John, he fathered no less than 14 children during his short lifetime.
Giving the toast to ‘Speed the Plough’ was none other than Scottish Liberal Democrats’ supremo and North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie. The Strathmiglo born and bred politician also revealed that, in doing so, he was following in the footsteps of his grandfather who proposed the same toast at the club’s gathering in 1963.
Also featuring on the evening’s programme were Ian Young who proposed ‘The Grace,’ club bard Tom Green who delivered his self-penned ‘Greetings to Kindred Clubs,’ popular musicians Andy Kain and James Coutts, ‘Tam & Gordon’ with their roof-raising vocal selections and piper Colin Stewart.
In drawing the proceedings to a close, President Keith McIntosh replied to Brian Bain’s toast to the chairman and committee as well as thanking the top table guests and artistes.
More than £1550 was collected from members and guests on the night for the Benevolent Fund to be spent on worthy causes.