Lassie breaks Burns taboo

Jackie Ormiston who will be compere for the galashiels royal british legion burns supper.
Jackie Ormiston who will be compere for the galashiels royal british legion burns supper.

A LONGSTANDING male bastion will be breached next month when Jackie Ormiston comperes the Burns Supper of the Royal British Legion in Galashiels.

Jackie, from Tweedbank, is the first female to perform the key role at the annual celebration of the Bard.

“I’ve been a club member for 10 years and have loved the work of Robert Burns since I was a wee girl,” said Jackie, 48, who works as a civilian analyst at the Safer Communities Unit, run jointly by the police and Scottish Borders Council, at Newtown.

“Although it’s been a mixed event for many years, I thought it a bit strange that even the reply to the toast of the Lassies was given by a man.

“But in 2009, former club chairman Peter Stewart asked me to give that reply – and I’ve been doing it ever since!

“When the current chairman, Jim Roy, asked me to compere the supper this year, I jumped at the chance. I feel it’s quite an honour although I’m a wee bit nervous at the prospect.”

The event will take place in the upstairs lounge of the club on Friday, February 3. The toast to the Immortal Memory will be given by Hawick ambulanceman Gordon Jackson MBE, with Dave “Sid” Sanderson, a pipe band stalwart in Galashiels, performing Tam o’Shanter and Holy Wullie’s Prayer.

Jackie’s role of replying to the toast to the Lasses – from Lauder’s Jim Archibald – will be taken by Karen Hendry from Lilliesleaf.