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Robbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet, celebrated in New Tec

January 31, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

On Friday, January 24, a Robbie Burns Celebration was held at the Gibson Centre for Arts & Culture in Alliston in honour of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

The event included a traditional meal of neeps, tatties and Haggis (and a hearty roast beef for less adventurous types).

Entertainment including Highland Dance, Poetry & Pipes, and bagpipes as played by the Clans of New Tecumseth Pipes & Drums Band with musical guests Jennifer Ricker and Ann Sheehan.

Robbie Burns, a Scottish poet, lyricist, and farmer died at the age of 37 (January 1759 – July 1796), and is widely regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement.

“After his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world,” reads a biography of Burns. “Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

“As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and ‘Scots Wha Hae’ served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include ‘A Red, Red Rose’, ‘A Man’s a Man for A’ That’, ‘To a Louse’, ‘To a Mouse’, ‘The Battle of Sherramuir’,’Tam o’ Shanter’ and ‘Ae Fond Kiss.’”

In Alliston, guests were called to dinner by the pipe, courtesy of members of the Clans of Tecumseth Pipes and Drums – who lined the staircase to the second floor.  

The introduction of the Haggis came next, piped in by Pipe Major Rory MacKinnon, by Lachlan McGurk – who also toasted to the pipers, The Immortal Bard, and recited the Selkirk Grace before supper.


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