PORT McNEILL—Royal Canadian Legion Branch 281 had a packed house last weekend for its annual Robbie Burns Dinner.
The crowd was treated to a display of highland dancing to set the mood before Duncan MacGregor paraded the star of the show — a haggis — among the tables.
MacGregor then performed a rousing rendition of the Scottish bard’s famous “Address To a Haggis” from memory before revealing the innards of the “great chieftain o’ the puddin-race” to the assembled guests.
This was followed by the Selkirk Grace from Branch Chaplain Rick Ivens, the prayer also attributed to the poet.
The Burns supper is a traditional Scottish-themed night honouring the Ayrshire-born wordsmith, held on or around his birthday, Jan. 25, each year.
Haggis is an integral dish of any Burns supper, a traditional Scottish staple of sheep’s heart, liver, lung and sometimes tripe, which is then minced with suet, onion, oatmeal and seasonings before being stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and cooked.
Burns himself is perhaps the most widely-celebrated Scottish poet, and a cultural icon in his native land.
While poems like ‘Address To a Haggis’ and ‘To a Mouse’ are fairly well known, it is his song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ that most people are familiar with.