Highland Mary Monument Project – The Re-dedication Ceremony

20151005 Highland Mary Re-dedication 001On Sunday 30th August, 2015, dignitaries and invited guests arrived at the Tontine Hotel, Greenock for the re-dedication ceremony of the Highland Mary Monument.

As the sun shone we made our way to the Greenock Cemetery for the re-dedication ceremony.

Alan Currie, Past President, the Director of Ceremonies, welcomed everyone and introduced the invited guests. He then passed the baton to Rev. Douglas Hamilton, Past President (President of the Renfrewshire Association of Burns Clubs) to preside over the re-dedication ceremony.

Jack Glenny, Past President (Club Bard) hen recited a poem he had composed especially for the ceremony –

Highland Mary’s Memorial 

Upon a hill in Greenock toon,

Wi’ trees an’ blossom all aroon,

The memory of a Heilan’ lass

Is carved in polished stane.

Rabbie Burns, the Bard o’ Ayr,

Ance loo’ed a lassie young an’ fair,

Wi’ her twinklin’ e’e an’ shining face,

His heart was quickly ta’en.

Greenock Burns club, as years went by,

(It’s known as the Mother Club forbye),

Resolved to keep that memory live,

In each Burnsian’s mind.

That’s why this day wi’ faithful hearts,

Folk come from a’ the world’s parts

And gaze upon this marble slab,

And reflect upon the thoughts they find.

Wreaths were then laid at the foot of the monument by –

Greenock Burns Club

Christine MacLeod, President

Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire

Guy Clark

Inverclyde Council

Councillor James Clocherty

Robert Burns World Federation

Angus Middleton, Past President

Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West

John R S Keith, Deputy Provincial Grand Master

Highland Mary Refurbishment Project

William J McCready, Project Manager & Past President

During the wreath-laying ceremony piper Rachael McDaid played a suitable lament.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the dignitaries and invited guests joined the members of the Mother Club at the Tontine Hotel for high tea, after which Bill McCready, Project Manager, gave a presentation on the project with film footage of the 1920 interment at Greenock Cemetery, which drew gasps of amazement from all present.

The afternoon was concluded by Angus Middleton, RBWF Past President who gave a Vote of Thanks on behalf of our visitors.

Acknowledgements

The Executive Committee and member of the Burns Club acknowledge with Grateful thanks the financial assistance given by –

Inverclyde Council

Arts for Inverclyde

Riverside Inverclyde

Lodge Doric Kilwinning No. 68

Colin Hunter McQueen

Norma Paton

We are also grateful for the technical support provided by:-

Gordon Cartwright of Go-Wright Ltd

Ian Kearns, burial Grounds Officer at Greenock Cemetery

The restoration work on the monument was expertly carried out by :-

Go-Wright Ltd

We acknowledge the support given by the management and staff of:-

The Tontine Hotel, Greenock

Finally, a special thanks must go to Bill McCready & Margaret Dickson, who both worked tirelessly in obtaining funding for the renovation, organising and overseeing the work and eventually ensuring that the re-dedication ceremony went according to plan.

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