January 25th marks the anniversary of the birth of Bro Robert Burns, Initiate and Depute Master of Lodge St David Tarbolton No 174 (SC), and incidentally Scotland’s greatest poet. Dukinfield may be 125 miles south of Scotland, but it isn’t lacking in brethren itching to don a kilt or tartan trews.
And so, with the hall suitably decorated, a sizeable crowd of Brethren and their ladies processed in to supper behind a piper, to start with a complimentary dram.
After a welcome from the Hall Chairman, The Selkirk grace was given by the Guest of Honour, WBro ‘Chalky’ White, whose wife assured all present that whilst she was sure he once had a real forename, even she can’t remember it!
The Haggis, borne on a silver salver by the Hall Chairman, WBro Derek Marbeck was piped into the hall, preceded by WBro White, and followed by Whisky Bearer, WBro Aiden Foynes.
WBro White addressed the Haggis in splendid fashion, and after spilling its entrails proposed the toast to the Haggis which was taken up with gusto by those present.
Those who have dined at Dukinfield will know its reputation for serving a hearty meal, particularly the Chef’s famous home-made soups, and this night was no exception, with a fine Cock-a-leekie soup, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, and a magnificent meal of Scottish Beef, followed by fresh fruit, whipped cream and shortbread, and Scottish Cheese with Oatcakes.
As the Haggis was served, WBro Steve Headdock relieved the Whisky Bearer of his burden, and toured the room with sauce boats brimming with the water of life for the Haggis.
The traditional Burns Night toasts were proposed, and received with enthusiasm, with the toast to the Immortal Memory of the Poet proposed by WBro David Mayall, and the toast to the Lassies by WBro Steve Headdock.
Music for dancing tempted more than a couple to the floor to demonstrate the Gay Gordons, whilst those with two left feet sampled the delightful contents of the Malts trolley.
Proceedings were then closed with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
The occasion brought a tear to the eye of the expatriate Scots, and is definitely an experience to repeat. Next Year’s Burns Supper is already booked for Saturday 25th January.