Proposer of the Toast “The Lasses” 1893, 1899, 1909
Proposer of the Toast “The Navy & The Army” or “Imperial Forces” 1895
Proposer of the Toast “Our Hosts” or “The Landlord – Landlady” 1895, 1904
Proposer of the Toast “Kindred Clubs” 1898
Reply to the Toast “Commercial Interests of the District” 1903
Served on the Club Committee
1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1901, 1907
Robert became a member of ‘Let it Blaw’ c.1881 and was first mentioned in the Toast List/Programme in 1883. Not much is known about Robert’s early years but, by 1881 when ‘Let it Blaw’ was founded, he was working in Balerno as a Joiner, renting a house from our Founder James Fairbairn Snr. who, by coincidence, ran his own Joinery business employing six men.
There’s nothing to prove that Robert worked for Fairbairn, but there is evidence to show that Fairbairn assisted his employees to find accommodation. Robert appears to have moved to Edinburgh as Club Records show he was staying at 13 West Bryson Road for a short time before, apparently, returning to Balerno. In 1895, five years after the death of James Fairbairn Snr, there is a record of Robert renting a house in the village owned by long time Secretary of ‘Let it Blaw,’ John Fairbairn
Robert was an active participant in the 1883 Supper singing “There Was a Lad” and reciting the “Address to a Haggis”; the first recorded rendition of this poem at ‘Let it Blaw.’
In view of Robert’s links to James Fairbairn Snr, both as tenant and their shared occupation as Joiners, it seems possible that he was one of the 23 Gentlemen who attended the first ‘Let it Blaw’ in 1881.
Perhaps an example of the significance of Robert’s role in early Club affairs is that when George Y. Robertson, in his role of Club Bard, presented a collection of rhymes at the 1891 annual Supper and mentioned many prominent members of the Club, Robert was one of those included. The presentation was printed by Club Member A. G. Moir and a copy included in the Club Minute Book. The layout has been adapted for our website and can be viewed at Ragged Rhymes .
Robert’s death in 1929 is recorded in Club Minutes.