Robert Burns

Alexandria Burns Club Annual Festival
Alexandria Masonic Temple

Saturday 25th January 2020

Demand for tickets for our annual festival was high this year. This resulted in what I believe to be the largest attendance we have ever had at a supper with 147 members and guests present.

2020 Burns night Top Table

Guests and Artists (L to R)

Willie McDonald. Walter Snedden, Tommy Munley, David Kinniburgh (President of Dumbarton Burns Club)
Ian Walls, Iain Rodger. Rev. Alec Shuttleworth, Andrew Lockhart, President Ian Embelton, Andrew Gordon
John McDonald, Fergus McLellan, George McCaughey and David Bruce

(Click image for larger version)

President Ian Embelton openerd the evening with his remarks and a minute of silence for deceased members, Allan Stewart, Willie Kelly, Andy Muirhead and past president Harry Summers.

The haggis was borne by Robert Mills, piped in by David Bruce and addressed by Tommy Munley, who was making his debut as a speaker for the club. Tommy later, and very capably, recited "To a Mouse". He has has entertained us in music and song in the past and I am sure he is someone we will be seeing more of in both capacities in future.

Piping in the haggis

Address to the Haggis
Tommy Munley addressing the Haggis

When Tommy had dispatched the haggis Robert and his team from Venue Caterers served an excellent meal, which was clearly appreciated by all

Immmortal memory

After the first interval President Ian Embelton introduced the Rev. Alec Shuttleworth who was delivering the main toast of the evening, the Immortal Memory, The Rev. Alec is a new face on our scene and he did not disappoint. His Immortal Memory was very well presented, thoughtful but most of all hilariously funny. Hopefully we will see him back some time in the future.

McDonald Brothers

Music for the evening was provided by weel kent faces and club members, the McDonald Brothers. Once again they did a great job in their two spots during the evening.

John Barleycorn

Our incoming VP, George McCaughey was next in proposing the toast to John Barleycorn. George had flown back from a trip to Australia just three or four days before the event but he had clearly made time to prepare his entertaining toast.

Andrew Lockhart has been playing his keyboard for us for many years now. He entertained us next playing a selection of music by Burns before David Kinniburgh took the floor to do Tam O'Shanter. David last performed "Tam" for us back in 2008. He continues to provide an excellent version. David is the president of Dumbarton Burns club this year.


Ian Walls provided some of the Clatter for the evening. Ian is a funny guy, who can be relied upon to provide laughs. He toasted John Barleycorn for us back in 2018 and once again he did not disappoint.


Before the second interval Andrew Gordon entertained us on his accordion. Andrew is now a regular at our suppers. He is one of the best accordion players around and his music is always greeted with enthusiastic applause.


After the second interval our excellent piper David Bruce opened the final part of the evening with his selection. David, an excellent piper, first played for us last year. Hopefully we will be able to call on him for many years to come.


Next on the programme we had the McDonald Brothers for their second spot followed by Ian Rodger, who proposed an entertaining Toast to the Lasses. As previously mentioned we then had Tommy Munley's 'To a Mouse', more from Andrew Gordon then Walter Snedden proposed the Toast to the Artists.

New president

At this point Ian Embelton performed his last duty as president in handing over the chain of office to our new president Walter Snedden. Our thanks are due to Ian for his work during his term as president and we look forward to seeing Walter in the chair.

Another very successful Burns supper concluded with the company singing the Star o' Rabbie Burns and finally Auld Lang Syne. Once again, thanks to all members and guests for their excellent order during the evening.

A selection of images has been included. Click the small images below for a larger version.

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The St Andrew's Night dinner this year will take place on Friday 27th November, in the Vale of Leven Bowling Club. Next year’s supper will take place in the Alexandria Masonic Temple on Saturday 23rd January 2021.


(Photos by Tom Gilmour.)


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