Burns Night 30th January 2014

A report on the evening (photos : courtesy of Stefan Bokos)

By popular demand from some club members, John Metcalfe, assisted by Neil Macalister, arranged a Burns Night. The previous Supper had been held 8 years ago.
The evening was well attended by members, wives plus many friends - in all 77 of us sat down in the Margaretting Suite at Ivy Hill Hotel.
It was good to see many a man attired in his kilt and lots of the ladies were adorned in tartan. it was clear that we intended to have a good night.
The piper played as we took our seats and the company was welcomed by our host, John Metcalfe. 
The Loyal Toast to 'The Queen' followed.
Soon the haggis was paraded through the room, brought in by the chef on a silver platter, to the tune of the pipes. 
John Archer addressed the haggis and with the piper and the chef  we all toasted the haggis.
After 'The Selkirk Grace', we were entertained by Frances Dewis, who sang "Ye Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon" in acapello style (unaccompanied).
Our Bill 'o Fare started with Haggis, Tatties & Neeps [ very nice and not dry at all]
followed by Fillet of Salmon with a Hollandaise Sauce, new potatoes & seasonal vegetables.
And Cranachan [ traditional raspberry, oatmeal-toasted and cream dessert] plus coffee.
During the meal Michael Heaslip [of Nicholsons Supplies, Ingatestone] played another set of pipe melodies.
The Immortal Memory was given by John Metcalfe - a very interesting account on Burns. Especially the fact that 4,000 people attended Nelson Mandela's funeral 
- compared to the astonishing figure of 10,000 who managed to go to Burns' funeral - in days before trains & planes!
The 'Toast to the Lassies' was made by Neil and The Reply given by his wife, Senga... both claiming many conflicting points-of-view...call it a draw
Our Final Entertainment was a duet by Francis Dewis and Gill Harste - "My Love is like a red, red rose" - delightfully sung in tune to the music supplied by husband Roger Harste.
President Helder Lemos gave the Vote of Thanks - we all sang Auld Lang Syne and John called for the Final Toast
From the compliments paid to John & Neil afterwards, it was an evening that everyone really enjoyed and worth all the planning and effort; 
not however, an event that will work every year - perhaps in another 3 or 4 years 
Robert Burns  1759 - 1796  "A Man's a Man for A' That"