Poppy Lunn addresses the haggis at the Volunteer Hall, watched by Galashiels Burns Club secretary Matthew Burgess.

Galashiels Burns Club brings youths into the mix

Burns suppers are all about safeguarding tradition, keeping alive the treasured words of our national bard in tried and tested fashion.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 1:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 2:09 pm

But it’s always good to mix it up a bit.

And Galashiels Burns Club did just that on Friday evening at the Volunteer Hall, as 11-year-old Poppy Lunn became the first female to address the haggis in the club’s long history.

The Glendinning Primary School pupil’s word-perfect oratory of the famous address was lapped up by all present.

And Galashiels Academy pupil Oisin Beard, aged 12, also showed the future’s bright for Burns enthusaiasts in Galashiels by giving a fantastic oration of To a Louse.

The pair had won schools Burns competitions held last year, with Oisin being crowned the Borders champion.

Club chairman Alastair Christie – who had earlier [placed a wreath on the bust of Rabbie Burns in the town – said: ““They were both terrific – well done to Poppy and Oisin for making history.”

The rest of the evening was just as highly appreciated.

Speakers came from all over the Borders ... Hawick legend Ian Landles presented a hilarious Immortal Memory, Tom Tinlin from Kelso gave the Toast to the Lasses and Donald Francis travelled from Selkirk to wax lyrical about the Land O’ Cakes.

Gareth Scottgave the vote of thanks.

Heading the entertainment section was John Tullie, who gave excellent recitals of Tam O’Shanter and Holy Willie’s Prayer.

There was singing from Sam Cleland and George Inglis, with Chris Achenbach providing backing on the piano and Dave Darling on the piano.

And no haggis supper is complete without a stirring blast of the pipes, and Bruce Hastie provided this to perfection.

The following day, the town’s rugby club held an informal Burns lunch ahead of the match between Gala and Heriot’s Blues.

Terry McConville gave the address to the haggis, which again was piped in by Bruce Hasite.

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