Duncan McGregor spills the innards of the haggis during the traditional 'Address To a Haggis' at the Port McNeill Legion's annual Burns supper.

Duncan McGregor spills the innards of the haggis during the traditional 'Address To a Haggis' at the Port McNeill Legion's annual Burns supper.

Traditional Scots supper celebrates poet’s birth

Port McNeill Legion hosts annual Robbie Burns supper, celebrating the Scottish poet.

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.