Carrick Burns Club in its 121st year held its Annual Burns Supper in Malin Court Maidens on Saturday night. when a full complement of members, experienced an excellent evening of fine dining and entertainment.
Club piper Jim Crawford had a night off to enjoy himself while regular supporter Allan Brown took over and piped in over 100 members and guests following whom Chairman, the Rev. Jim Guthrie in his usual couthy manner welcomed the company and his top table guests. Allan then piped in the haggis which Club Secretary Denis Reid traditionally addressed and a most excellent dinner was once again faultlessly presented and served by the excellent staff at Malin Court.
The “Immortal Memory” was proposed by Mr Robert Stuart Lyon originally of Hallside Lanarkshire but now living in Ayrshire and a member of Bridgeton Burns Club and Prestwick flying Club. Stuart is in great demand as a public speaker and is booked for some 17 Burns Suppers alone this year so Carrick were extremely fortunate to have his services.
He pointed out that Burns dared to be different which could verge on the dangerous at that time. He compared the fact that only the birth of Christ and that of Burns are celebrated worldwide every year. He said it was remarkable that at a time when the French Revolution rocked the world, Marie Antoinette was executed; Bonnie Prince Charlie and George Washington were contemporaries that Burns should have achieved such international recognition. He quoted freely from the works of Burns and held his audience spellbound in an eloquent delivery without a note. Stuart’s “Memory” certainly ranks among the best heard at Carrick over the years.
The toast to “The Lassies” was given in a fascinating drole but humorous manner by Mr James Morrison of Auchinleck. Jim is in great demand as an after dinner speaker and his comments and stories several of which were at the expense of his wife Mary certainly found favour with the lads in his audience. Much to the delight of the ladies however he was quickly put in his place in the reply which was most capably delivered by Mrs Nancy Anderson of Caldermill who originally was brought up in Barr. In a forthright but humorous rebuff Nancy more than ensured that the lads did not get things all their own way. Nancy was acclaimed for pointing out that unlike today’s men Burns at least was worth listening to and never received a bitter comment from any of the many women he knew.
Carrick’s unique toast to “My Scotland was this year in the capable hands of the new minister of Girvan North Church the Rev. Richard Moffat. Having spent most of his working life in Canada Richard in a witty and entertaining presentation recounted many instances of misunderstandings between his new friends in Calgary and his home spun Scots dialogue and humour. Despite a wonderful experience in Canada he was delighted to have returned to his Scots roots and the wonderful landscape and countryside of his native land
The final toast of the evening to “The Jolly Beggars” was delivered in a most entertaining and humorous manner by Mr Scott Brown of Gorebridge. Drawing from his background of farming, rugby and TV presentation Scott meted out a plethora of comic tales at the expense of several weel kent members of his audience much to the pleasure of their fellow guests who were astonished at how well he seemed to know his victims and exactly where they were located in the room. No one admitted to providing Scott with his information but no doubt questions will be asked in certain quarters!
There was an acclaimed welcome once again for Stuart McKinlay of Ayr, who provided another two excellent presentations of Burns work which included an outstanding rendition of firm favourite “Tam O’ Shanter” With his unquestionable acting ability and presentation skills Stuart had his audience spellbound throughout both poems and has undoubtedly established himself as a Carrick regular.
No Carrick Supper is never complete without its resident singer and entertainer Mr Willie Stewart of Dundonald who was again in charge of musical presentations. Year after year Willie never ceases to amaze with renewed and original changes of presentation to the highest of standards.
Carrick Burns Club is once again indebted to Malin Court and their staff for their continued excellent support and service.
As Chairman Guthrie brought the evenings proceeding to a close with the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” it had to once again be said that one and all without exception left the proceedings having sincerely enjoyed another “Grand Nicht at the Carrick!”