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BBC to film Burns’ Supper

Guests to the Caledonian Society of Bermuda’s annual Burns’ Supper will be in for a special treat this year — and may even catch a glimpse of themselves in the international media.

BBC Scotland has commissioned Matchlight Ltd, an independent television production company, to film the sold-out event at Tucker’s Point Hotel next Saturday.

The footage will be used in making a documentary about Scottish culture and the Commonwealth, particularly to mark Burns’ Night 2014. The film crew is heading to Bermuda to film the upcoming event and “are keen to explore the similarities and differences of this annual Scottish celebration within different cultures and societies across the globe”, said the society’s Claire Hattie.

She said the production company contacted her through the Caledonian Society of Bermuda’s Facebook page last month. “We are really excited about it. It’s not just great exposure for us but for Bermuda as well, so we are looking forward to it.”

Burns Suppers celebrate the life and works of Scottish poet Robert Burns. Widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, Mr Burns was appreciated for a soft dialect that made him accessible to people outside of the region.

His poetry includes

Auld Lang Syne, typically sung at New Year’s Eve celebrations,

To a Mouse and

Tam O’ Shanter, considered by many to be one of the best examples of the narrative poem in European literature.

Ms Hattie said the set-up for this year’s event would be largely the same as in past years, beginning with a cocktail reception. “We always try to make the Burns’ Supper as much fun and as good an event as we can.

“It’s not like we are doing things differently because it’s being filmed, we always just try to make it as good an event as we can.”

Haggis will be brought in with piped music and set in front of Scott Devine, the society’s president, who will recite the Burns poem,

Address to a Haggis.

Bruce Murray will be the MC for the night and there will be a series of speeches after dinner. Ms Hattie said the Immortal Memory, the main speech of the night, is on the topic of Burns’ life and poetry.

“This is a great way for people who are not too familiar with our national bard to learn a bit more about him.

“We will be honouring both our country of origin and the land we live in with the next two speeches, a Toast to Scotland and a Toast to Bermuda. The Toast to the Lassies and the Reply on Behalf of the Lassies is a lighthearted battle of the sexes.”

This year’s readings will be given by Ian Cummings, Mark Lavery, Governor George Fergusson, Scott Gemmell and former

Royal Gazette editor Bill Zuill and his wife Dawn Zuill.

The Caledonian Society of Bermuda was established in 1936 and its first event was a dinner and dance to celebrate Burns’ Night. An archived newspaper article hailed it a “huge success”.

Saturday night’s menu will feature Scottish smoked salmon, cock-a-leekie soup, a dish of leeks and chicken stock, haggis with clapshot (potatoes and turnip/swedes) and steak and ale pie.

For dessert tipsy laird, a Scottish trifle with raspberries, whisky and cream will be on offer; as well as tea and coffee.

Ms Hattie said she enjoyed the food at these events, particularly haggis which isn’t typically served in Bermuda. She also likes that she can bring her friends from different countries and they can experience a piece of her Scottish culture.

“You do not have to be a literary buff to enjoy this,” she said. “You just have to enjoy cocktails, dinner, poetry and entertaining toasts and speeches.”

Useful website: www.caledoniansocietyofbermuda.com

Address to a Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face

Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race!

Aboon them a’ ye tak your place

Painch, tripe, or thairm

Weel are ye wordy of a grace

As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill

Your hurdies like a distant hill

Your pin wad help to mend a mill

In time o’ need

While thro’ your pores the dews distil

Like amber bead

His knife see rustic-labour dight

An’ cut you up wi’ ready slight

Trenching your gushing entrails bright

Like onie ditch

And then, O what a glorious sight

Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn they stretch an’ strive

Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive

Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve

Are bent like drums

Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive

Bethankit hums

Is there that owre his French ragout

Or olio that wad staw a sow

Or fricassee wad mak her spew

Wi’ perfect sconner

Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view

On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash

As feckless as a wither’d rash

His spindle shank a guid whip-lash

His nieve a nit

Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash

O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed

The trembling earth resounds his tread

Clap in his walie nieve a blade

He’ll mak it whissle

An’ legs, an’ arms, an’ heads will sned

Like taps o’ thrissle

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care

And dish them out their bill o’ fare

Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware

That jaups in luggies

But, if you wish her gratefu’ pray’r

Gie her a Haggis!

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Published January 16, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm)

BBC to film Burns’ Supper

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