January 25th is the birthday of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. He was born to tenant farmers in a small village on Scotland’s rugged west coast on the twenty-fifth day of January 1759 and by the age of twenty-seven he would be celebrated across Scotland as The Ploughman Poet. Indeed, he is still lauded as our beloved bard some two hundred and fifty eight years after his birth. Every January, around this time, Burns Suppers are held across Scotland and throughout the world to celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns. You may think you know nothing of this literary hero from across the Atlantic, but if you have ever bid farewell to the old year and ushered in the new by singing Auld Lang Syne, then you too are a devotee of Burns.
During his thirty-seven years on earth, Burns published over seven hundred works, expressing himself eloquently in poetry, prose and song. In addition to natural talent, this was in large part thanks to the encouragement and support of his family, those who schooled him as a young man and those who helped and supported him once he had established himself as a writer. As we are an organization dedicated to supporting local writers, I thought it would be fitting to have a Burns Supper to raise both awareness of, and funds for, The Mill, and so, on January 21st we invited friends to join with us to observe the birthday of Robert Burns. It was a memorable night thanks to our chef Peter, our piper Jon, Chris, who addressed the haggis, Kyle, who toasted the lassies, Lisa, who replied on behalf of them, Dave, who accompanied our rendition of Auld Lang Syne on the trumpet, Sarah and John, who played celtic music into the night, and all of our guests who celebrated like Scots, throwing themselves into an alien tradition with gusto.
I’d like to thank everyone who came along and played a part in honoring our bard on Saturday night. I’d also like to express my gratitude for the generous donations we received to help support the work of The Mill in the coming year.
To give a flavor of the night, here’s a clip of Chris addressing the haggis, courtesy of Dan, our unofficial videographer. Haggis Video