Proposer of the Toast “Absent Friends” 1908
Reply to the Toast “Commercial Interests of the District” 1910
Served on the Club Committee
1902, 1903, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910
Became a member of ‘Let it Blaw’ c.1905
First mentioned in Toast List/Programme 1907
Robert Torrance was a blacksmith who worked as a smiddy in Balerno for several years. He then moved down to Currie taking over the operation of the smiddy at Kinleith. He was a good supporter of ‘Let it Blaw’ serving on the Committee for several years.
In his minute of a Meeting of Club Members at the Malleny Arms on Friday 27th May 1910, Club Secretary John Fairbairn recorded: “In response to invitations issued, a company of 22 members met this evening in the Malleny Arms hall for the purpose of presenting Mr Robert Torrance with a gift on his leaving Kinleith for Winnipeg.
The following is a list of members present : “Robert Torrance, Thomas Horsburgh, George Y. Robertson, Rev. David C. Stewart, “George Shiels, George Melrose, Hugh Spence, Gordon McNeill, John Baillie, Andrew Falconer, Robert Butler, George Gascoigne, David Martin, William Patterson, Peter Crawford, James Henderson, Robert Garlick, George Calder, Alex Cossar, W. Campbell, James G. Fairbairn (and Club Secretary) John Fairbairn.
The chairman, after enumerating the estimable qualities of the parting Guest, presented him in the name of the Club with a pocket book containg six sovereigns as a token of their good wishes.
The Rev Mr Stewart also expressed the high appreciation in which he was held by himself and his congregation.
In presenting him with a vial containing water from the “Poet’s Well” George Robertson hoped it would remind him of the good wishes and kindly feelings expressed this evening.
Mr Torrance in replying, expressed how deeply he felt the kindness of the Burns Club, that he would not forget his connection with it, and would still retain his membership though far ayont the sea. He promised to find out if there was a Burns Club in Winnipeg and would join its membership. Robert favoured the Company with his favourite song “The Jenkler’s Waddin”, the whole Company joining most heartily in the chorus which had to be repeated.
Various members contributed to the enjoyment by giving songs and recitations. One Member sang “To the West, to the West, to the Land of the Free” as he had done exactly 28 years before on the occasion of John Aikman of Johnsburn, leaving for Chicago.
An original poem was given by one of the Members, Mr George Shiels (previous Club Bard) in reference to Mr Torrance’s departure and was received with cordial appreciation.
Altogether a very pleasant evening was spent and concluded amid much hand-shaking and “Auld Lang Syne“
But that was not the last ‘Let it Blaw’ heard of our cronie Robert Torrance. In the minute of the Committee Meeting of 4th February 1921, Secretary John Fairbairn recorded : “The Secretary read a letter he had received from an old Member now in Winnipeg, Mr Robert Torrance. He enclosed 2 dollars to pay his subscription due. The Committee instructed him to write thanking Mr Torrance for his kind remembrance and subscription, and to convey to him the hearty and kind greetings of the Club.”
Then again, in the minute of the Committee Meeting of 2nd February 1923, Secretary John Fairbairn recorded : “A letter has been received from R. Torrance, Winnipeg, enclosing 2 dollars for his annual subscription. The Meeting cordially welcomed Mr Torrance’s letter, and the Secretary was instructed to write thanking him for his kind and thoughtful remembrance.”