Proposer of the Toast “The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns” 1903
George became a member of ‘Let it Blaw’ in 1900 and first appeared on the Toast List/Programme in 1903.
He served as our Club Bard for a year which included our 1909 Supper. Unfortunately, his Oration from the Supper has not survived. However, during the course of his term as Bard, George wrote a poem dated 27th March 1908 as a tribute to Founder Member William Garlick. This poem can be viewed at Tribute to William Garlick of Hannahfield
At a meeting on 13th February 1911, the chairman Tom Horsburgh stated that they had met for the purpose of presenting an esteemed member, Mr George A. Shiels, with a purse and a sum of money, on the occasion of his leaving the country for Australia. In presenting the gift to Mr Shiels, he expressed the regret the Club felt on losing a member who delighted reading such authors as Byron, Burns and Carlyle, and wished him much success in the Land to which he was going. The Rev. Stewart and Messrs Robertson, Spence and others expressed their high appreciation of his talents and wished him all success.
George Spent 11 years in Australia before returning home to Scotland and rejoining ‘Let it Blaw’ in the early 1920s. Unfortunately, eight weeks after his return, George took ill and died.
In the minute of the Committee Meeting of 22nd December 1922, Secretary John Fairbairn recorded : “One of the Club’s members passed away during the year on 6th April 1922, viz. Mr George A. Shiels, who had returned from an 11 year sojourn in Australia only 8 weeks previous to his death.
He had been a very enthusiastic member of the Club and gave the Toast to the Immortal Memory on one occasion. He had also acted as Bard and his efforts in this capacity were very much appreciated. He informed the Meeting that subscriptions had been collected for a wreath to place on his grave, and this had been done as a tribute to his memory.”