Robert Burns

Alexandria Burns Club Annual Festival
Alexandria Masonic Temple

Saturday 19th March 2022

Well, with a couple of months delay caused by the ongoing pandemic, we finally made it. Our 2022 supper was held in our usual venue, the Masonic Temple in Alexandria on Saturday 19th March. The number of members and guests was reduced but we still had around 90 people seated, which given the situation we are in, was a very respectable attendance.

Our president Walter Snedden was chairman for the evening. Walter welcomed everyone and introduced his top table. A one minute silence was then observed for deceased members.

Alexandria Burns Supper Top Table 2022

Guests and Artists (L to R)

George McCaughey, Gary Weir, Andrew McCormack (Dumbarton Burns Club Pres.), Ian Embelton
Bryan Weir, Walter Sneddon (President), Duncan Crawford, Robert Ryan, Alex Brown
David Kinniburgh, George Dunwoody, Tommy Munley

(Click image for larger version)

Colin Lawrie was our piper for the evening and the skirl of his pipes signaled the entrance of the haggis, which vice president George McCaughey addressed. An enjoyable meal was then served by Robert Mills and his catering team.

Piping in the haggis

Address to the Haggis
George McCaughey addressing the Haggis

After the meal and the chairman’s remarks the programme began with the Immortal Memory presented by George Dunwoody. George’s informative and entertaining memory was very well received by the appreciative audience, one of the best we have heard for a while.

Immortal Memory
George Dunwoody delivers his Immortal Memory

Tommy Munley then entertained us with his guitar and a selection of Burns songs. Tommy sets these songs to his own arrangements, which are always popular. Tommy provided more entertainment in the second half of the programme.

Tommy Munley
Tommy Munley

This was followed my committee member Gary Weir’s humorous and entertaining Toast to John Barleycorn then David Kinniburgh’s rendition of Tam O’ Shanter. David had kindly stepped in at the eleventh hour due to a Covid cancellation. David has done “Tam” before on a couple of occasions and once again his performance was perfect.

Gary Weir
Gary Weir - Toast to John Barleycorn

David Kinniburgh
David Kinniburgh (Tam o'Shanter)

Our other musical artist was another member, Robert Ryan. Robert entertained us with some funny stories and songs with his own backing on guitar and harmonica. He also performed for us in the second half of the programme.

Robert Ryan
Robert Ryan

Duncan Crawford then toasted The Lasses in his own inimitable way. Again this was much appreciated.

Duncan Crawford
Duncan Crawford Toast to the Lasses

Committee member Bryan Weir then proposed a Toast to Alexandria Burns Club. This is a toast which is infrequently proposed. Bryan had looked into the history of the club through the original minute book and explained how we came to be No.2 in the Federation.

Bryan Weir
Bryan Weir Toast to Alexandria Burns Club No.2 in the Federation

He also spoke of his personal link to the first secretary of the club when it was founded in 1884, Alexander M. Bryan. From his family tree he had discovered that A.M.Bryan’s sister was his great grandmother. A.M.Bryan was therefore his great granduncle and the reason his name was "Bryan" with a Y. This provided a blood link from this committee to the original committee.

The evening was rounded off with the Toast to the Artists by George McCaughey before the traditional conclusion with Auld Lang Syne being sung by the company.

This was another great Burns evening, perhaps appreciated a bit more than usual because of the near normality as the pandemic rules are relaxed.

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 25th November 2022, in the Vale of Leven Bowling Club. Next year’s supper will take place in the Alexandria Masonic Temple on Saturday 21st January 2023.


(Photos by Tom Gilmour.)


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