Last Friday saw members and guests enjoy an entertaining evening at the annual Burns Supper in the Members Bar at the Richmond Clubhouse.
The winter weather meant that several guests, including former London Scottish scrum-half and current SRU President Alan Lawson and his wife Linda, who were both stranded at Edinburgh airport, were unable to attend, resulting in numbers dropping to just under 100.
Musicians Frank and Iain McKay were also snowed in – however, the evening saw some of the best piping ever witnessed at the club, courtesy of the Pinstripe Highlanders.
After being piped in, the company sat down to the traditional meal, which opened with a few words from former SRU Committee Member Ed Crozier, with Grace said by Annette Fritze-Shanks.
The Haggis was led in by the ‘Pinstripers’ and addressed by Burns enthusiast Hector Davidson, who also volunteered to introduce a rousing rendition of Tam O’ Shanter by Donald McPherson later in the evening. Hector commented that it was the first time he’d ever been accompanied by “half a pipe band”!
The second part of the ‘nicht’ commenced with a fine Pipe Set by club members Chris Craig and Neil Gillies before Donald McPherson’s performance as an 18th century rustic and the Immortal Memory proposed by Jock Meikle. Jock revealed that not only was Burns a farmer poet ahead of his time, with some radical views in a closed society dominated by religion, but also a soldier and could be viewed as the original management consultant.
The formal part of the evening concluded with the Toast to the Lassies and Reply by a husband and wife ‘team’ of Alex and Fern Gray. Thanks are due to all those who spoke or made the evening possible and also to Club President Rod Lynch for keeping the evening going apace in his usual erudite manner, with informative, sometimes witty, introductions of the participants.