A not-so-Scottish Burns Night Supper

Piper Stuart Todd leading the haggis.
Piper Stuart Todd leading the haggis.

Morpeth Rotary Club

Morpeth Rotary began a new tradition last year when it held its first Burns Night Supper of recent times.

Prof Andrew Hamnett, Mary Kendall and President Bob Kendall admiring the just arrived haggis.

Prof Andrew Hamnett, Mary Kendall and President Bob Kendall admiring the just arrived haggis.

The event was held again in 2019, with Past President Andrew Hamnett, retired Vice Chancellor of Strathclyde University, presiding at Barluga in Morpeth. Andrew wore his Malawi Scottish tartan.

He bade the 50 guests welcome and invited Jim Miller, one of the few Scottish members, to say the Selkirk grace.

Stuart Todd, of Morpeth Highland Pipe Band, led in the haggis, which was given the traditional Burns address before being assaulted with a knife and taken away to be cut in pieces. The haggis was toasted with a dram and served with neeps and tatties, followed by cranachan.

Three further Burns’ addresses were performed, each with another dram.

Simon Foley, from Essex, spoke ‘to the immortal memory’ of Burns’ spirit. He told how Burns had been a farmer, soldier and excise man, as well as poet and songwriter. Simon included Burns’ songs in his fine tenor voice.

Stan Bryce, with his Scouse accent and wearing his MacFarlane tartan tie, made a toast to ‘the lassies’ that was almost as risqué as Burns would have done. He noted that Burns talked about his love of the ladies in 180 poems.

It was replied to by Barbara Pringle with a hard-hitting satirical poem of her own, in a perfect lowland Scots dialect.

The raffle raised over £200 for good causes.