Added on Monday 2 Mar 2009
This year we were really pleased to be asked by our dear friends Alice and David Hayman to be guests at their table at Oran Mor Burns Supper. What a fab night we had! The evening was even more special as it was the 250th Anniversary of the birth of the Bard.
On arriving, Oran Mor grand hall was a beautiful spectacle with subtle blue lighting and magnificent candelabras set out on every table inviting you in to a very special occasion.
The evening started with a welcome from the Master of Ceremonies, David MacLennan.He introduced the "Sirens of Titan", who beautifully sang a selection of Burns songs including "My Love is Like a Red Red Rose" and "A Man's a Man".
Dave Anderson then gave the address to the haggis and proceeded to "mollicate "it with a large blunt sword. Jimmy McGregor gave the toast to the Lassies. (The least said about that the better).
Moira Kerr, the popular Scottish singer/song writer, gave the reply for the lassies, which was great. She commented on what a fabulous writer Burns was, how handsome he was, his interest in the ladies and that tragically he was only 37 years old when he died! Moira finished off by singing "Ae Fond Kiss" beautifully.
I didn't know this, but one of the greatest honours that can be bestowed at a Burns Supper is to be asked to give the "Immortal Memory". The "Immortal Memory" is a celebration of Burns' life, spirit and his contribution to Global culture.
David Hayman did the honours and gave a recital of Hugh MacDiarmid's famous "Immortal Memory" given in 1959 on the bi-centenary anniversary of Burns` birth. On introducing Davy, the Master of Ceremonies commented that he is a man that Burns would have been proud to meet quoting a "A man's a man the world o'r a mans a man for a` that". This was a reference to David's humanitarian work in Afghanistan with his charity Spirit Aid*. Before giving his recital, Davy in turn thanked Colin Beattie, of the Oran Mor, for all his help and support for "Spirit Aid".
At our table we were all very proud of David's "braw" recital which ended with us all charging our glasses and being upstanding to drink a toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns!
The evening was rounded off by one of Ayr`s "bonnie lassies", Karen Dunbar, who gave a very demonstrative and full recital of "Tam O'Shanter" which had us all enthralled. Even those overseas visitors who did not have a grasp of the Ayrshire dialect could understand the story! A fine way to end the evening!
In between all of this entertainment we were treated to a beautiful meal. (although I did opt for the vegetarian haggis). The wine flowed and the company was excellent, we had such good fun. Thank you Alice and Davy.
As a wee last note, there was lots of star spotting to do that night. At our table alone we had, of course, the very distinguished actor, David Hayman; Norman O'Leary, painter (see his paintings at the West End Auctions in Whiteinch); Tommy Gormley, film director (1st Assistant). Actually, come to think of it, all of us round the table were stars in our own wee ways!
Other stars spotted included Robbie Coltrane, Barbara Rafferty, Peter McDougall, and Libby McArthur.
*Spirit Aid, founded in 2001 by David Hayman and friends, is a completely volunteer organisation set up to support children and young people around the world by running humanitarian projects in places like Kosovo, Guinea Bissau, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Scotland. Our work will continue to grow at home and abroad helping young people towards a better, healthier and happier life. A volunteer-based organisation, Spirit Aid commits 90% of all donations to humanitarian aid- 10% to administration. Spirit Aid relies solely on the goodwill and donations of its supporters. www.spiritaid.org
Some photographs from the night: