(A Dalkeith winter carnival event)
Well we forgot to count exactly how many people showed up, but we know it was our best Robbie Burns Brunch ever. Visitors, Guests and Patrons came from Montreal, Kingston, Brockville, Nova Scotia, and throughout our own Glengarry Counties. Ian MacLeod Fiddlers were first on the floor entertaining the crowd with their toe-tapping music. These Fiddlers are renown not only in their native Glengarry but throughout North America as well. What a treat. Our HAGGIS from Muir’s Bakery in Maxville was paraded in with full honours as you can see from the above picture. Frances Fraser played the pipes leading, first, the haggis bearers Allan Campbell & Stewart Irvine followed by distinguished guests: Jim Finlayson who would address the “Great Chieftain o’ the pudding race” in fine fashion and then Diarmid Campbell, hand somely kilted in the best o’tartan fashion who would lead the toast to Robbie Burns. Jim Finlayson through RB verse described the haggis as worthy of grace & a glorious sight & a divine taste and “if ye wish her grateful prayer, gie her a haggis’ he concluded. Burns elevated the status of the haggis (the common man’s food) to international levels through his poem “To a Haggis”. Diarmid Campbell honoured the Bard with some fine words testimony to the forged international, national and local community links Burns’ poetry & music have created through the centuries and concluding with the wish that the tradition be passed on to future generations. It is at this event that the Dalkeith Historical Society announces the winner of its Educational & Cultural Bursary.
This years’ Winner was the local chapter of the Civil War “Blues & Greys,” a Montreal based group that is hoping place a monument at Upper Canada Village in honour of the “Canadians” who served . Stewart Irvine accepted on behalf of that group. Patrick Taylor Ironworks & DHS donated the much sought after door prizes that various patrons won...The Food & Drink Tables were laden with goodies prepared by DHS CHEFS for the delight & palate of the visiting patrons.
Many thanks to one & all who made the event possible-Clara Taylor, Enid MacDougall, MacLeod Fiddlers, Cory Olsthoorn, Peggy Phillips,Douglas Irvine, Jacques Lavigne, Nicole St. Pierre, Emerson MacGillivray,Winston Brodie, Monsieur Eric, Marjorie & Allan Campbell, Frances Fraser, Jean MacLennan, Maggie Dean, Louis Loczy, Helen Kaufman & you our patrons— thank you so much for taking the time to come & have some fun celebrating not only a Scottish poet but an international poet whose renown carries on after some 250 years. The first recorded Burns celebration was in 1801 when his friends gathered to celebrate Burns memory Both haggis & the water of life were on that 1801 menu. Burns was a man who loved wine (water of Life in his case) women & song. He spoke to the common person (through the ages) with just the right note of appeal. (He spoke English & French & most certainly read Latin). World wide there are said to be 12-15,000 Burns celebrations each year. N.B. Regular DHS meeting Library Feb. 16 10:30