By all accounts the haggis was pleasing, if mild, at this year’s Robbie Burns Night.
An annual tradition at the Royal Canadian Legion, Br.139, the evening was a celebration of all things Scottish, and, of course, the poet Robbie Burns.
The occasion, held Jan. 20, is a celebration of Robbie Burns’s birthday. The bard was highly regarded in Scotland by the common folk of the land, and was well known for his poetry, written in thick Scottish brogue, that spoke to the people.
There’s an art to these occasion, and Robbie Burns Nights across North America all have a similar flavour.
Beginning with the piping in of the haggis, the evening was already off to a good start by the time dinner was served.
Ron Hume, whose father helped start Robbie Burns nights in Williams Lake and who has attended ever since, delivered an impassioned Immortal Memory speech, where he thanked organizer Vivian MacNeil for “perpetuating the immortal in the immortal memory” by keeping the Robbie Burns Nights running in Williams Lake. MacNeil received a standing ovation from the crowd.
It wouldn’t be a Robbie Burns Night without the bagpipes, and the Williams Lake Pipe Band didn’t disappoint. With their youngest member only 12, the band delighted the intergenerational audience with their skills.
Barry Sale, true to form, delivered a Toast to the Lassies filled with Robbie Burns’ history with the lassies, while MacNeil delivered a witty response in her Reply to the Laddies.
To end the evening Doug White, the master of all things Scottish, performed a rousing rendition of The Star of Robbie Burns.
At the end of the evening many reminisced about nights past, or thoughts of Scotland and Scottish ancestors as Auld Lang Syne ended the formal events.