The Denner

The 150th Anniversary Dinner, 25th January 2020

Message from the President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Members and Guests

 

It is my great privilege to warmly welcome you to this special evening as the Club celebrates the start of its 150th year at our Anniversary Dinner. I am deeply honoured and proud to be the President of Bridgeton Burns Club in this momentous year and your presence here this evening makes it all the more special.

 

During a recent visit to the famous Mitchell Library in Glasgow looking at the Club records and historical artefacts one item in particular really struck a chord with me and that was the first minute book, started by our founding fathers, forming the Club after a meeting in the shop of John Scott, 13 Main Street, Bridgeton. Beautifully written on the first page are the names of all who were present including the first Club President, John Wilson (1870-73) with the words;

 

‘To meet annually on the 25th January: to celebrate the anniversary of the natal day of Scotlands (sic) darling poet – Burns’

 

And so developed the two main objectives of the Club;

 

- To celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns, by holding a dinner each year on the 25th January.

 

- To promote the life and works of Robert Burns amongst the children of the schools of the East-end of Glasgow by holding an annual competition.

 

I wonder if they are looking down on us now with a sense of pride and satisfaction knowing the Club continues to promote those objectives and in turn maintains the cultural roots of this great City, more especially the memory of our National Bard, Robert Burns.

 

This achievement has only been possible through the support of members and guests who have faithfully attended our Anniversary Dinners and given generously in support of the Club. Once again I thank you for all your support on making the Club what it is today.

 

As I put on the President’s Chain this evening to Chair this prestigious dinner the honour will not be lost on me, that moment I know will live with me forever. Perhaps that visit to the Mitchell reinforced how important Bridgeton Burns Club is to me and many others.

 

Last month it was wonderful to see the excitement of almost 900 children taking part in the Annual Competition at St Mungo’s Academy, comprising song, recitation, choral verse and art. The quality and enthusiasm of the participants never fails to amaze, and this year was no exception. A huge thank you to all the teachers for their commitment to our competition. Tonight we will have the pleasure of hearing a few of our talented winners performing in front of their largest ever audience.

 

Gentlemen, we have a top table befitting of our 150th year, it will, I am sure, be an evening of learning, humour and most of all enjoyment just as the Bard would have wanted. So, sit back, relax and enjoy what I believe is the best Burns Supper in the World.

 

Yours aye

Iain T. Gordon

President

 

 

 

 

Biographies

Professor Gerard Carruthers, Robert Shaw, Alasdair Hendry

Professor Gerard Carruthers FRSE

 

Professor Gerry Carruthers has taught for nineteen years at the University of Glasgow where he holds an established chair as Francis Hutcheson Professor of Scottish Literature. Previously he was a lecturer in English Studies for five years at the University of Strathclyde and a British Academy funded Research Fellow for two years at the University of Aberdeen. In the latter role, he worked on the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels of Walter Scott. This background in textual editing led to him becoming General Editor of the Oxford Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Burns (11 volumes; 4 so far produced, 2014-). He is currently editing Vol 5 of the OUP edition, the first volume (of 4) of Burns’s Correspondence, The Oxford Handbook of Robert Burns (2022), two volumes of Burns’s Poetry and a new collection of critical essays for Edinburgh University Press, Burns in Performance (2021).

 

Professor Carruthers is Convenor of ‘Burns Scotland’, the National Burns collection comprising national institutions and local authorities who curate collections of Burnsiana as well as being Honorary Advisor to the National Trust for Scotland on Burns. As Principal Investigator, he has been awarded over 2 million pounds of grant funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the project ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’ which underpins the Oxford Burns edition. In 2007 he established the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at Glasgow. He frequently comments on Burns and other topics in the media and is often used as a consultant by other institutions. He has lectured on Burns in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, New Zealand, Russia and USA. He holds a Visiting Professorship at the University of Electronic Science and Technology, in Chengdu, China.

 

He is a board Trustee for the redevelopment of Ellisland Farm and Museum and a member of the Research and Ethics Panel at Paisley Museum. As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he is a West of Scotland Regional Champion for the society. Previously, Professor Carruthers was Visiting Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, Visiting Professor of English at the University of Wyoming, Visiting Fellow at the University of Otago and W. Ormiston Roy Research Fellow at the University of South Carolina.

 

He is author or editor of 18 books and over 150 academic essays (two dozen on Burns). Recent books include Literature & Union: Scottish Texts, British Contexts (2018), The International Companion to John Galt (2017) and Thomas Muir of Huntershill: Essays for the Twenty First Century (2016). Born in Stirlingshire, Professor Carruthers was brought up in Glasgow and Clydebank. He is an honorary member of the Burns Club of Atlanta and Irvine Burns Club. A keen supporter of the national football team, he plays guitar in his spare time.

Vice President Robert Shaw

 

Bobby was born in the Gorbals ,Glasgow although brought up in Oatlands, Castlemilk and East Kilbride. He attended Glenwood secondary school leaving to serve his time as a heating engineer, before joining Strathclyde Police in 1977. Bobby holds an honours degree in Sociology and Criminology.

 

Bobby's career with Strathclyde Police saw him initially posted to Glasgow Central Division where he joined the Criminal Investigation Department early in his service. As he progressed through the ranks he worked in the Serious Crime Squad, Surveillance, and Forensic Support. Latterly he was head of CID in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde. He retired 10 years ago as Superintendent and Sub-Divisional Officer at Greenock.

 

Bobby is an accomplished Speaker on the After-Dinner circuit and is a Past President of the Thistle Burns Club. He is currently Vice-President of the Bridgeton Burns club.

 

Bobby is married and has two sons and is the proud grandfather of three grandchildren.

Alasdair Hendry

 

Alasdair was born at an early age in Glasgow and thereafter succumbed to   education at Douglas Academy Milngavie before studying Law at Aberdeen University, Graduating in 1979.  He is married with one wife Carine and two children, Andrew and Catriona, both of whom have for some time now demonstrated that they are more worthwhile citizens than their father.

 

Alasdair is a  Partner in the Firm of Blair & Bryden, Solicitors based in Port Glasgow which is a medium sized provincial firm with five offices. He practised at the Criminal Bar for some 30 years before sampling the delights of private client work and conveyancing and now only appears in court on a very occasional basis.  Alasdair is Dean emeritus of the Faculty of Procurators of Greenock which, despite the impressive title, is not an indication of any particular legal talent, but rather an indication of advancing age.

 

Although interested in football for many years, playing for such renowned Clubs like Aberdeen University and other less known amateur teams, with no great distinction, Alasdair's current interest in football extends to the somewhat masochistic pastime of holding a season ticket for Greenock Morton at Cappielow. He has played golf for many years as a member of, variously, Windy Hill, Douglas Park, Greenock and Crail where in each of these locations his ability has not matched his enthusiasm. In his tireless pursuit of sporting mediocrity he took up curling in the mid 1980’s, reaching the dizzy heights of Presidency of Port Glasgow Curling Club from 2004 to 2006. In short, his sporting career can best be summed up in the phrase that will no doubt adorn my tombstone “at least he made up the numbers”.

 

Alasdair's other main hobbies of a general sporting nature are sea kayaking and cycling, and in respect of the latter, as an adverse reaction to reaching his 40’s, he undertook a  Fundraising Cycle in the Himalayas in aid of ENABLE some years ago, however since then his silhouette on a bicycle has become somewhat more substantial, and the prospects of victory in the Tour de France are probably now diminishing. He is also a past President of Dunrod Angling Club and has the distinction of being the only President of the club in over 100 years never to have caught a fish in club waters.

 

Alasdair is a Past President or Preses of the Innerkip Society, a charitable institution which has existed in the Inverclyde Area since 1798 raising and applying funds to various Annuitants who, for various reasons, have needs that cannot be met through the welfare state.  He is also a Trustee of the Senit Foundation which exists to raise funds on an annual basis to be applied to cancer related charities in the Inverclyde area.

 Alasdair has spoken at numerous Burns Suppers, on two occasions as far afield as Paris and Maastricht and various other Sporting Clubs and Local Societies.  He is an Honorary President of the Greenock Mother Club, so called because it is the oldest Burns Club in the World, (Paisley take note!)  a former President of Gourock Burns Club, a member of Tarbolton Bachelors’ Club and Bridgeton Burns Club

In addition to membership of the Tufty Club, he is proud to report that he holds a clean driving licence, the last three penalty points having expired in March last year

The Nicht’s Ongauns

Welcome Greetings

Grace ........................................................................................... The Chairman

The Queen ................................................................................... The Chairman

Songs O’ Burns .................................................................Artistes and Company

Selection from the Schools Competition .............................. The Schoolchildren

 

Schools Competition Appeal

 

Past President Alasdair Ronald

 

Songs O’ Burns ..............................................................Artistes and Company

 

Interval

Songs O’ Burns ..............................................................Artistes and Company

The Immortal Memory

Professor Gerard Carruthers FRSE

The Speaker...................................................................Director Colin Botfield

Songs O’ Burns .............................................................Artistes and Company

Our Guests...........................................................Vice President Robert Shaw

Reply on behalf of the Guests ................................................Alasdair Hendry

Vote of  thanks.......................................................................... The Chairman

Our Chairman .......................................................Past President Iain Glennie

 

 

“Auld Lang Syne”

Artiste: Past President Ronnie Williamson

Pipe Band: Willamwood Pipe Band

Pianist: Matthew Hynes

Piper: Pipe Major Spencer Veitch;

Scottish Charity No - SC 015476

 

Scottish Charity No - SC 015476

 

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