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Celebrating a great Scot: Robbie Burns Dinner held Saturday

Pipe major Harold MacDonnell is shown with the haggis as well as Justin Desmond, at left, and Marshall Margeson.
Pipe major Harold MacDonnell is shown with the haggis as well as Justin Desmond, at left, and Marshall Margeson.

STELLARTON - Troy MacCulloch can trace his family history back to the 1300s in Scotland. It’s only natural that the past-president of the St. Andrew’s Society of Pictou County looks forward to Robbie Burns Day each year.

“It celebrates the free and high-living spirit that Robbie lived.”

The St. Andrew’s Society, combined with the Na Gaisgich Pipes and Drums Band, for the annual Robbie Burns Supper, which was held on Saturday at the Stellarton Fire Hall.

“He spoke of the common man; that’s where his popularity comes from,” MacCulloch said.

“He spoke of things that people could relate to.”

Robbie Burns Day is actually this coming Wednesday, celebrating what would have been his 258th birthday. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and was also a lyricist.

The haggis was piped in and was formally addressed on Saturday. Afterward, a roast beef dinner with tatties and neeps (or potatoes and turnip, for those of us rooted in the 21st century) was served, while toasts were given at the fire hall to the “lads and the lasses,” MacCulloch said.

“It’s all done tongue-and-cheek. If anything, Robbie loved the women, and there was no shortage of them.”

Ah, yes: a rock star of his time who died before he was 40, Burns fathered 12 children – allegedly with various women.

Harold MacDonnell, a pipe major with the Na Gaisgich Pipes and Drums Band, said that 18 pipers, a bass and four side drummers were present at the fire hall for the dinner.

“It’s just a tradition to do the Robbie Burns dinner,” MacDonnell added.

“And it’s getting bigger and bigger every year.”

The Burns Supper quickly sold out; 150 tickets went fast, MacCulloch said, and the interest in the event might compel organizers to hold the Burns Supper in a larger venue next year.

A Robbie Burns Evening is also scheduled for Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. with entertainment from the Carillon Singers and Friends at the Merigomish School House. Scottish dress is encouraged with a traditional Scottish meal planned. Tickets are $30 in advance and available from any Carillon or by calling 902-771-0022.

“It celebrates the free and high-living spirit that Robbie lived.”

The St. Andrew’s Society, combined with the Na Gaisgich Pipes and Drums Band, for the annual Robbie Burns Supper, which was held on Saturday at the Stellarton Fire Hall.

“He spoke of the common man; that’s where his popularity comes from,” MacCulloch said.

“He spoke of things that people could relate to.”

Robbie Burns Day is actually this coming Wednesday, celebrating what would have been his 258th birthday. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and was also a lyricist.

The haggis was piped in and was formally addressed on Saturday. Afterward, a roast beef dinner with tatties and neeps (or potatoes and turnip, for those of us rooted in the 21st century) was served, while toasts were given at the fire hall to the “lads and the lasses,” MacCulloch said.

“It’s all done tongue-and-cheek. If anything, Robbie loved the women, and there was no shortage of them.”

Ah, yes: a rock star of his time who died before he was 40, Burns fathered 12 children – allegedly with various women.

Harold MacDonnell, a pipe major with the Na Gaisgich Pipes and Drums Band, said that 18 pipers, a bass and four side drummers were present at the fire hall for the dinner.

“It’s just a tradition to do the Robbie Burns dinner,” MacDonnell added.

“And it’s getting bigger and bigger every year.”

The Burns Supper quickly sold out; 150 tickets went fast, MacCulloch said, and the interest in the event might compel organizers to hold the Burns Supper in a larger venue next year.

A Robbie Burns Evening is also scheduled for Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. with entertainment from the Carillon Singers and Friends at the Merigomish School House. Scottish dress is encouraged with a traditional Scottish meal planned. Tickets are $30 in advance and available from any Carillon or by calling 902-771-0022.

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