For the first time ever, the rejuvenated Edinburgh District Burns Clubs Association held a Robert Burns Anniversary Commemoration on Saturday 24 July 2010. This took the form of a special day of celebration close to the 214th Anniversary of the poet’s death. For the idea and most of the planning, we have to thank Jim Shields, the EDBCA Secretary who was ably assisted by President Ian Chisholm and fellow members.
First, we had a morning meeting at the Monument in Regent Road to pay due honours to the National Bard. Present were various dignitaries of whom the principals were Edinburgh Lord Provost George Grubband Mike Duguid, President of the Burns Federation.
In the afternoon, we adjourned to the Masonic Hall, Liberton, where, thanks to the local Masonic Lodge and Top o’ the Hill Burns Club, an inaugural Burns Recitation competition took place. This allowed 9 representatives from various Districts to give their interpretation of some of the Bard’s finest longer poems before a panel of 3 judges. During a long pause for the judges’ decision, Jim Weatherston, now on his own,filled the gap with a series of songs from his extensive repertoire.
After a supper of traditional fare, we rounded off the event with a convivial evening of harmony, Gordon Jamieson of Port Seton BC acting as MC. Once again Jim, by then ably assisted by wife May, gave us more songs to bring his total for the day well into double figures. Club President, Ken McDonald, joined us for the afternoon and evening and, acquitted himself well.
The winner was Ian Buick, Borders District and Hawick Burns Club, with a superb rendition of the “Reply to the Guidwife of Wauchope House”
Given the undoubted success of this venture, it is to be hoped that, with some refinements, it will be repeated on an annual basis. If so, we would hope for a bigger attendance by Club members throughout our District including Let it Blaw. Certainly Jim Weatherston, for his huge contribution, deserves a special word of mention on our web-site.
Ronnie Crichton August 2010
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