21 January 2019

Monday 21st January and club members, along with guests, enjoyed a relaxed, friendly and uplifting celebration of the life and work of Robert Burns..

John Anderson and his team of The Rockies Restaurant at Anstruther Golf Club, (the club’s weekly meeting place) provided food and service that wanted for nothing. Presided over by club President Findlay McLaren, the evening kicked off with a Selkirk Grace from Roderick Skinner. The Haggis was skirled in by piper Audrey Clarke in fine style and led in by Karen Anderson, heavily disguised as Poosie Nancy. 

A rousing Address by Graham Meacher displayed knife skills of the highest order; the poor beast being soon despatched, at no small risk to those nearby!

Leek and potato soup then haggis with neeps and tatties (with mince too, if fancied by those of an East Neuk persuasion) But vegetable lasagne or ham salad for anyone with a gentler disposition. And then shortbread, tablet and coffee. Well satisfied, a short breather was welcome before the ‘sangs and clatter’.

And then an Immortal Memory from Elizabeth Riches. A first try she said - but modestly was not necessary. We enjoyed a thoughtful and fresh interpretation with an insight that was very clearly based on considerable knowledge and research. We heard that Elizabeth had been enticed along by the offer of a box of farm-fresh vegetables - hardly recompense enough for such a treat. 

‘The Lassies’ followed from Steve Blaney; a man who claimed that the evening was also his first performance at a Burns event. Steve entertained with a jovial celebration of the lassies - although, it must be said, touching on sensitive ground when commenting on shopping habits! But all in good spirit and an enthusiastic toast followed.  

‘Reply to The Lassies’ from Lianne Brunton was a journey into the surreal with humour that, as tradition demands, reflected on the frailties of the human male. That there were quite so many should not have come as a surprise: the shock of this discovery being well tempered by some fine jokes of the Brunton ilk. 

A recitation from Malcolm MacDonald revealed another unsuspected skill in a club member. An original poem - home made - a club laureate perhaps? - not many in Rotary we think. No doubt McGonagall was looking down in awe!!

And then to the final treat - Peter Peddie and Tam O Shanter. How is it done? Peter told us that he has been getting in the carrot harvest - are they good for memory too? Always a favourite, with a sparkle that never fades, Peter’s interpretation was practiced fluent and eloquent. A joy.

And so a splendid evening drew to a close with a warm vote of thanks proposed by Eric Dewhirst. To organiser Ian Brunton and to all who made such an enjoyable evening possible. In a troubled world it was timely to reflect on the words of Robert Burns - ‘That man to man, the world o'er, shall brothers be for a that’ - and the aims of Rotary, in shared fellowship and friendship.


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