2016 – Annual Celebration
The Greenock Burns Club held their 214th Annual Celebration on Monday 25th January, 2016, within the Tontine Hotel, Greenock.
The top table guests were piped into the room by Billy McCready, Past President.
The proceedings were chaired by Christine MacLeod, President, who warmly welcomed everyone.
Rev. Douglas Hamilton, Past President, gave the traditional Selkirk Grace.
The haggis was then piped in by Billy McCready with Catriona Faint giving us her rendition of “Address to a Haggis”. Catriona is a winner of The Mabel Irvine Trophy, awarded to the “best performance by entrants in Speech Classes for Burns” at the annual Inverclyde Music Festival.
After a very nice dinner Christine MacLeod introduced Joanna Crossan, who sang “Ye Banks and Braes”. She later gave us “Ca’ the Yowes”. Both songs were beautifully sung unaccompanied.
President Christine MacLeod then introduced the principal speaker for the evening – Joe Gatherer, who proposed the Toast to the Immortal Memory of The Bard. Joe is a local solicitor, an accomplished singer and a long-standing member of The Mother Club. He proceeded to take us on a journey of Burns’ life with the main focus being on his 1886-1787, the year in which Burns was most prolific in his writing. While speaking about Burns being internationally renowned, he delighted the audience by singing “Ae fond Kiss” in Russian.
At the close Joe received a well-earned hearty applause and standing ovation from all present.
Georgia Glancy, a winner of the Marie Hagen Trophy at Inverclyde Festival, which is awarded for the best performance in speech classes for set poems, then gave her excellent rendition of “Tae a Mountain Daisy”. This was followed later in the programme with “Sic A Wife As Willie Had” (Willie Wastle)
The Toast to the Mother Club was proposed by Mr Robert Moran, Provost of Inverclyde, who highlighted the Greenock Burns Club’s contribution to the wider community of Inverclyde with events such as The Inverclyde Primary Schools Competition, The Inverclyde Secondary Schools Burns Supper and the enormous efforts made with the renovation of The Highland Mary Monument and it’s recent Re-Dedication Ceremony.
A suitable reply was made by Jim Donnelly, Senior vice-President, who thanked the Provost for an excellent Toast and taking the time out of his busy schedule to be with us.
The Toast to the Lasses was proposed by Malcolm Baird, a member of the Kilbirnie Rosebery Burns Club, who showed his knowledge of Burns while managing to get the traditional “dig” at the Lasses.
The Reply to Malcolms Toast was given by Isabel Lind OBE, a well-respected and much loved Past President of the Mother Club. Isabel did not hold back in giving the men a “roasting” and some say she might just have won the friendly joust.
As is the tradition at The Mother Club, Joe Gatherer, having proposed the Toast to The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns, was installed by Christine MacLeod as this years’ Honorary President.
Joe expressed his absolute delight at receiving such an honour from the members of Mother Club.
A very comprehensive Vote of Thanks was proposed by Jamie Donnelly, Junior Vice-President, which included all who made a contribution to an excellent evening.
The evening was concluded in the traditional manner with all of the company singing Auld Land Syne.
See Photo Gallery – here