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
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
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
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!