The first Houston/Grampian Association Burns Supper was held in January, 2011 and by all measures, was a great success.
Moira Holden, Lois King and Rebecca Roberts prepared the Hall earlier in the day and Moira welcomed guests to Memorial Hall from 6:00 pm that same evening.
With the tables groaning with food and a high level of expectation and excitement in the air, the evening began. Shown below are Anne Davidson, Marianne
Duffin and Moira Holden as the evening is anticipated.
With much talk in recent times of beginning some celidh activities, this was true to our Scottish counterparts and a very nice
way to begin celebrating Robert Burns as well. For those not yet steeped in the Celtic lore and culture, a good learning experience was definitely a part
of our Burns supper for the Houston-raised attendees and we look forward to more celebrations like this. On this distinctive evening, we honoured the tradition
of the Ceilidh and the tradition of the Burns supper, as you will see.
Thor Sinclair “fiddled” in the Haggis proudly borne aloft by Anne Davidson (wife of our President) and Ross Davidson (President) shown left addressed the Haggis. After
a toast with a fine dram of whisky the evening continued. After the repast the “Immortal Memory” was given by Stuart Gibson shown to the right, and all who were present agreed
they had never heard such a heartfelt Memory before. Stuart is a lover of Burns and it was apparent from the in-depth view he has of the Baird and his
anecdotes that kept everyone keenly listening and jumping rapidly to their feet for the Toast to Rabbie Burns.
HGA board member Kevin Howard, MBE who is pictured on the left then had the duty of giving the Toast to the Lassies, and Rebecca said, "He insulted us, he praised us, he
told us our faults and how wonderful we are, and by the end, tears of laughter were being wiped from everyone’s eyes and the gentlemen present were delighted
to raise and drink a 'Toast to the Lassies’." Rebecca went on to say, "There is only one person who can follow speeches of this caliber, and Sharon Corbett,
pictured on the right, did a wonderful job. The
Reply from the lassies was witty, funny, strewn with anecdotes and advice from her father, and many a dig at her long suffering husband Dave. As she said
'Lassies be upstanding' and we all rose laughing and cheering to “Toast our laddies”.
A quick clean up of the tables and coffee and cheese plates loaded the dancing began. “Rovers Return” kept the guests reeling and jigging
with no let up despite calls for rest and complaints of aching feet! A short break was taken to allow everyone to catch their breath. During this time we
held our “Neep Bowling” contest – at stake a bottle of fine Scotch Whisky. The neep bowled closest to the pin won, and Chriselle Douglas was a very happy
lady! She is shown below with Rebecca Roberts and then, you'll see our Chairman, Mary Metz, MBE dancing with with Andrew Roberts, followed by dancers and
As for the Neep Rolling, well you can see below the contestants preparing to let it rip and then the action began. Chriselle really did
it the right way and was recognized as the official champion of the first annual HGA Y'All's Burns Supper Neep Rolling.
The evening ended with Auld Lang Syne and a quick clean up of the premises. A total of about 70 people attended the event, including 12 members of HGA and many non-members who love Burns and love ceilidh. From HGA, our attendees included
Mary Metz, Mr. and Mrs. Geisler, Barbara Jensen, Moira Holden, Marianne Duffin, Ross and Anne Davidson, Kevin and Susan Howard, Rebecca and Andrew Roberts.
Mark your calendars for next year – this will be a recurring event for HGA.
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