Robert Burns

Alexandria Burns Club Annual Festival
Alexandria Masonic Temple

Saturday 21st January 2023

This year we returned to our usual January date after the problems presented by the Coronavirues pandemic during the last three years. One hundred and fourteen members and guests assembled in the Alexandria Masonic for our annual supper. We were privileged to have a special guest with us, President Alan Beck of the Robert Burns World Federation.

Our own 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 2023

Guests and Artists (L to R)

David Bruce (Piper), Ian Embelton, Ian White, Ian Miller, Gary Weir, Alan Beck (President RBWF)
Jim Naismith, Walter Snedden (President Alexandria Burns Club), Daivid Kinniburgh (Dumbarton Burns Club)
Bryan Weir, Tom Brown (Secretary), Fergus McLellan

(Click image for larger version)

As the evening got under way the skirl of David Bruce's pipes signaled the entrance of the haggis, which was put to the sword this year by committee member Bryan Weir. Robert Mills and his catering team once again served us with an excellent tightener.

Arrival of Haggis

Address to the Haggis
Bryan Weir addressing the Haggis


When the meal was finished and after an interval the audience eagerly anticipated this year's Immortal Memory, which this year came from RBWF President Alan Beck. As was to be expected Alan delivered an excellent and very knowledgeable IM, It was clear from the reception he received that the company very much enjoyed it.

Immortal Memory
Alan Beck with his Immortal Memory


John (Rock) McDonald has been a member of the Alexandria Burns Club for many years and he has entertained us in music and song many times in the past. He stepped in this year after we had a late call off. Once again John delivered with a selection of songs in each section of the programme.

John McDonald


It's been a wee while since club member, the Reverend Ian Miller entertained us. This year he came back to do so with his toast to John Barleycorn. This was done with his usual humour. He was ably assisted by Fergus McLellan as Holy Willie,

Reverend Ian Miller - Toast to John Barleycorn


We were blessed over many years to have two of the funniest men around providing us with Sangs and Clatter, the late Willie Kelly and Lennie Moore. Finding someone to replace them is always a problem but this year we were lucky enough to have past president of Greenock Burns Club, Iain White, filling this slot. Iain entertained the audience with some great jokes and anecdotes.

Iain White - Clatter


After another interval it was time for Tam O'Shanter, which was recited perfectly by the excellent Jim Naismith. Later in the evening Jim once again entertained us with his hilarious version of "Willie Brew'd a Peck o; Maut" leaving some of the audience panicking about his alcohol intake during the song.

Jim as Tam

Above Jim Naismith - Tam O'Shanter and below - Willie Brew'd a Peck o' Maut"

Willi eBreew'd a peck o' Maut


The penultimate toast of the evening was the Toast to the Lasses from incoming Alexandria Burns Club president George McCaughey. George drew on his broad experience with the Lasses and his speech was again very witty and entertaining

Toast to the Lasses.
George McCaughey Toast to the Lasses

New president

At the end of the programme Chairman Walter Snedden, having completed his three year presidency, handed over the chain of office to new president George McCaughey, who was congratulated by Alan Beck.

The evening was then rounded off with the Toast to the Artists by Bryan Weir before the traditional conclusion to what was another very successful supper with the company joining in to sing Auld Lang Syne.

The St Andrew's Night dinner this year will take place on Friday 24th November 2023, in the Vale of Leven Bowling Club. Next year’s supper will take place in the Alexandria Masonic Temple on Saturday 27th January 2024.


(Photos by Tom Gilmour.)


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