Supper Toast Lists & Programmes 1941 to 1960

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For many years it’s been assumed that the Balerno Burns Club was inactive during the period 1940 to 1955. The third of the Club’s old Minute Books carries an entry from a Meeting in the Malleny Arms during January 1940 which was the last word written until  the following record appears on the next page of the same Minute Book 15 years later: “At a Meeting convened at the above address on the date stated (Malleny Arms – 7th January 1955), a group of members of the local Burns Club decided to restart the functions as held previously.”
Recent research has cast doubt on whether the Club was totally inactive during this period as has long been thought. At a Meeting held in the Malleny Arms on 14th January 1957 the Secretary recorded : “Regret was expressed at the death of Mr D. Bryce who had proposed the Toast ‘The Immortal Memory’ in January 1950, the year that the Club restarted its activities.” Was this (1950) a clerical error ? Mr D. Bryce did in fact propose that Toast at the Supper in 1955 when we believe it restarted, but did he do it in 1950 too ? It’s thought unlikely, but further research may shed light on this issue.
The question of whether the Club was inactive throughout the assumed 15 year period is further clouded  by a remark made in 1980 by Club Secretary Willie Shanks when describing aspects of the Club’s involvement with the School Burns Competitions at Balerno/Dean Park School. In it he wrote : “Jock Taylor and Harry Rankin helped Mr Couper, the new Headmaster in Balerno from 1947, to re-establish the Competitions; though the Burns Club wasn’t functioning for about 8 years.” Willie also talked of the involvement of Davy Stewart in the School Contests throughout this period. By ‘about 8 years’ does Willie mean 1940 to 1948/49 or thereabouts ?
In Willie’s annual report as Club Secretary to the Burns Federation in 1975, he mentioned that the Rev. David D. Ogston, Minister of Balerno Parish Church, had agreed to become the Club Chaplain. Willie continued “he is the first Chaplain the Club has had since the death of Rev. David C. Stewart in 1946.” So, while we can’t be sure at this time what did happen during this period,  it appears the Club was anything but ‘inactive,’ albeit no record exists of Annual Suppers until January 1955. Unfortunately, the records that do exist for the Club Suppers immediately thereafter, are very sparse:
January 1955
Chairman
Piper
Address to a Haggis
 –
Toast : The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns
“Tam o’ Shanter”
“Rantin, Rovin Robin [There was a Lad]”
“The Balerno Song”
“During the evening the Members contributed to the enjoyment of the company
in giving various Burns songs which were all thoroughly enjoyed”
“In his reply to the toast “The Host”, Bob Turnbull  (Malleny Arms) hoped that the Supper had
befitted the evening, and that the Club would enjoy success in the future.”
“Auld Lang Syne”
and “We’re no Awa Tae Bide Awa”
The Company
 –
Office Bearers
President – Bertie Tennant
Secretary – Willie Shade    Treasurer – Harry Rankin
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January 1956
Chairman
Piper
Address to a Haggis
Toast : The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns
Reply
Toast : The Lasses
Toast : The Host
Reply
Bob Turnbull – the Malleny Arms
“Rantin, Rovin Robin [There was a Lad]”
“Tam o’ Shanter”
“The Balerno Song”
“During the evening the Members participated in songs and poems to all our enjoyment
and the evening became a real Burns Nicht “
“Auld Lang Syne”
The Company
 –
Office Bearers
President – Bertie Tennant
Secretary – Willie Shade    Treasurer – Harry Rankin
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January 1957
 –
Chairman
Piper
Selkirk Grace
Address to a Haggis
Toast : The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns
Toast : The Lasses
Toast : Let it Blaw
Reply
Toast : Chairman
Toast : The Landlord and the Landlady
Reply
Bob Turnbull – Malleny Arms
“Rantin, Rovin Robin [There was a Lad]”
“Tam o’ Shanter”
“Willie Brew’d a Peck o’ Maut”
“The Balerno Song”
“Auld Lang Syne”
The Company
Accompanist (Piano)
 –
Office Bearers
President – Bertie Tennant  Vice President – John Melrose
Secretary – Willie Shade    Treasurer – Harry Rankin
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January 1958
Chairman
(in the absence of Bertie Tennant  through illness)
Piper
“Address to a Haggis”
Toast : The Queen
Toast : The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns
Reply
Record Illegible
Toast : The Lasses
Toast : Let it Blaw
Toast : Chairman
Toast : The Landlord and the Landlady
“Rantin, Rovin Robin [There was a Lad]”
“Tam o’ Shanter”
“The Balerno Song”
Accompanist (Piano)
 –
Office Bearers
President – Bertie Tennant    Vice President – John Melrose
Secretary – Willie Shade    Treasurer – Harry Rankin
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The above record of the 1958 Supper was taken from a list of proposed speakers recorded at a Committee Meeting on 10th January 1958. For some reason, the record of Club Business suddenly stopped. There was no written record of the Supper a couple of weeks later, and no further records exist within the Club until a printed Toast List of the 1962 Supper. It is however known that Club Suppers continued annually from 1958.
It’s also known that Secretary’s records existed through to late 1972 but, following the sudden departure from the Club ranks by the then Secretary, the Minute Book covering the period to 1972 was “lost.”
It’s known that Bertie Tennant held the position of President and Supper Chairman through to the Supper of 1965 and that Harry & Robin Rankin became the most prolific contributors in the history of our Club. Robin “Addressed the Haggis” on 23 occasions between 1955 and 1977 and recited “Tam o’ Shanter” on 26 occasions between 1955 and 1980.  Harry sang the “Balerno Song” on 36 occasions between 1934 and 1983, “Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin” on 29 occasions between 1955 and 1983.
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