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Harburn Village Hall - Burns Club 2011

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A ripple in space-time
 caused an unusual coincidence in January. For a brief day or two, Harburn time came into conjuction with the rest of universe, meaning that the annual celebrations of Burns night actually took place close to the correct date, rather, as is the usual custom, in mid-February or March. prof pooleypipe in the haggisFurther, rather than the comfortable surroundings of our beloved hall, the Harburn Men’s Rural Offical Burns Supper club found itself in the plush surroundings of the golf club, greeted by warnings stating ‘No Spikes’. However, whatever is going on in the wider universe, Harburn does things its own way, and the HMROBS club is no exception. So, in addition to the Haggis, we addressed the dumpling, and now, apparently, the turnip too is worthy of a few verses. Then of course we toast our own community – this year, admirably done by (relatively) new arrival Professor Pooley. 

Many speakers claimed to have consulted the Burns Supper handbook or its web-based equivalent, but in no way had this dented their ability to range far and wide, both on and off topic. It was a fair bet that someone would come up with the ‘burns unit’ joke, and it was so surprise that David McDonald, in his accustomed master-of-ceremonies role got it in first, along with an excruciating series of puns and jokes, which made us long for the serious stuff to begin. maryDuncan Collin came up trumps here – his immortal memory giving us the portrait of Burns the man. By the end, we knew Burns to have been a Harburnite at heart. 

And indeed, he would have received inspiration
 from the poetic talents he would have found around him. Not only the aforementioned professor turned a pretty stanza, but Isobel McChesney, recited some recently discovered additional wullieverses to Tam o’ Shanter, in which his put-upon wife reflected on the shortcomings of men who return home drunk and bed down beneath the rear end of their horse. The kind-hearted Jethro Sheppard eschewed verse, but extolled the virtues of womankind, now and again sneaking a glance at Moira to make certain he was getting it right. 

The singers! Let us not forget the singers! John Lindsay, Ian McArthur, and our own home-grown Tryst each perform in radically different styles. Yet each complimented different aspects of the Burns canon, and were a pleasure to listen to. 

Calum Power piped in the haggis
 (was there rather less than usual? Is the HMROBS Club on a diet?), piped in the dumpling, and piped in John Pearce, who, as bearer, manfully bore. The evening was rounded off with a toast to the artistes given by our bonny local surgeon...

So, despite the unfortunate departure from Harburn tradition which led to the Burns supper being held at an enitrely appropriate time of year, we had a raft of fine singers and speakers....and a great evening. For which, no doubt, we must thank the Maclaughlans, man and wife. 
solemn moment

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