Post written by Moira Beaton DTM
Waverley Communicators in Edinburgh held their Burns Supper on Saturday 24th January at the St James Thistle Hotel in Edinburgh.
Club President, Neil MacLure chaired the dinner and piped in the haggis.
Frazer Candlish delivered the Selkirk Grace
Eileen Scott delivered the Immortal Memory and also sang Ae Fond Kiss
John Wood’s Toast to the the Lassies had a mythological theme
Johanne Burns, the club’s VPPR, in her Reply from the Lassies pinpointed all the positive characteristics of the men in the club that she desired to make up her ideal man.
After dinner, Mark McCulloch gave the poignant address Tae A Mouse
Dmitrijs Limonovs -taking a break from photographing and filming the entire event (thanks, Dmitrijs) – to deliver I Love My Jean with an impressive Scottish burr..
We had music too. Ivor Fennel, the club’s Treasurer, played the guitar and sang Ae Fond Kiss and Green Grow the Rushes O’ where we all joined in. And Aideen O’Malley, the club’s VPE, sang the stirring Ye Jacobites By Name.
Never one to resist a challenge, I offered (yes, offered) to deliver the Address to the Haggis. As it’s usually delivered by a man, I felt the Address was probably one of the most daunting things I could do before a live audience, even though I knew everyone in the room. I memorised the poem and practised it beforehand. It went well on the night, even the part where I have to plunge a knife into the haggis and cut it up ‘wi’ ready sleight’. Despite my preparations, there was a minor blip in the last verse when I mispronounced a word and it came out sounding slightly rude, but as Rabbie Burns was no stranger to rude words – that’s another story, and one which not many people know about – I’m sure he would not have disapproved.
I’m glad I did it, and I would urge every Toastmaster to take on a speaking or leadership role that challenges them above and beyond the norm. And, Ladies (or Lassies), addressing the haggis at a Toastmasters Burns Supper is no longer in the male domain. Rabbie Burns was a keen supporter of women – in many ways – and I like to think he would approve.
Moira Beaton is a member of Waverley Communicators and Assistant Division S Governor. If you want to find out more about Moira, go to www.moirambeaton.com