26 January 2012 Burns Supper

Thu 26th January 2012

Burns Supper

Junior Vice President Colin Strachan was in the chair for the Rotary Club of Bridge of Allan and Dunblane's annual Burns Supper, held last Thursday in the Westlands Hotel.

As well as a good turnout of Club members and partners, we were delighted to welcome several guests and even a couple of Sassenachs! Rotarians Liz and Charlie Balding, who are regular visitors, came along to enjoy the evening with us. The Presidents of our local Clubs, Alloa, Callendar, Carse of Stirling and with their partners were also honoured guests.

Piper Paul Phillips led in the Top Table guests; Chairman Colin Strachan welcomed everyone and asked Gillian Weighton gave the Selkirk Grace. The Haggis, carried by honorary member Eve, was piped in by Paul then Lawrie Orr had the audience transfixed with his address to The Haggis before we enjoyed a traditional meal served by the Westlands staff.

After the break, Colin introduced Archie Meikle who is a well kent figure in the construction industry and a tireless charity fundraiser, by saying he was noted in the yearbook of Blackburn Academy in West Lothian as 'the most likely person to appear in Crimewatch'. Archie made his entrance to the room dressed as Holy Willie complete with gown, nightcap and candle. On his way in, he stopped and berated a number of members for past misdemeanours before reciting his Prayer in great style.

Our singer this year was Catriona Lang a lass who was a member of the Stirling Junior Gaelic Choir and of the National Youth Choir of Scotland. After a spell in she decided to move back to and is building her teaching and musical career here. She performed the first of several songs before Alan Lee was invited to give the Toast to the Lassies. Alan is a fairly new club member and as befits his career in IT, his toast was given a new slant as a PowerPoint presentation which had the necessary mix of admiration for the fairer sex along with a few pointed observations!

After a second song by Catriona, it was the turn of another new member, Mary Fraser, to give the reply, which she did and put Alan, and other members, firmly in their place. After Catriona's third song, it was time for another appearance, now in conventional attire, from Archie Meikle to give The Immortal Memory, a well researched and entertaining delivery.

In a departure from the scheduled programme, Colin then invited Archie to perform Tam O' Shanter which he did to great effect complete with toy horse and sound effects. It was a masterful performance which had had the audience in stitches.

President Rod Jones rounded off the evening by giving a poetic vote of thanks (with apologies to Robert Burns) to all contributors and the audience before the evening was rounded off by Catriona leading everyone in the traditional singing of Auld Lang Syne.