Guests of the second IGEM Burns Supper on 25 January, had a chance to let their hair down as the Scottish Section commemorated the birth of Robert Burns 260 years ago.
Held at Edinburgh’s Holiday Inn, guests were welcomed by Immediate Past President Sheila Lauchlan, who organised the event.
Guests included our friends from the neighbouring North East & Yorkshire Section, who joined us for a night of Scottish tradition and literature.
Proceedings began with a poem explaining the itinerary for the evening before Stuart McLeod, of whisky sponsor Energy Assets, delivered the Selkirk Grace.
As the starters were cleared and the whisky served, the haggis was piped in by Lauren Johnstone before Ian McCluskey, IGEM’s Head of Technical Services and Policy and Immediate Past Chair of the Scottish Section, gave a highly animated recital of Address to a Haggis.
After dinner, Sheila invited Past Scottish Section Chair Ben Clarke, of Projen, to give the Immortal Memory. He eloquently informed the audience of the life of Burns, a renowned poet, farmer and father of 14.
Andy Middleton, Network Integrity and Compliance Lead at Northern Gas Networks and Past Chair of IGEM’s North East & Yorkshire Section, then gave a Toast to the Lassies, with Nikki Barker, Consultant at Redacre Consulting, giving the reply.
The Wullie Fraser Ceilidh Band then tuned up and the dancing began. During a moment of rest from the reels and polkas, Sheila drew the raffle in aid of Epilepsy Scotland. The night, of course, ended too soon with guests locking arms and joining in a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
The Sections would like to thank everyone who donated prizes, which included an afternoon tea from the Holiday Inn and bottles of malt whisky donated by Ian McCluskey. Thanks also go to Graham Loan, from SGN, who nominated the charity.
Thanks also to Sheila, Eilidh and Chris Hamill, Past Section Chair Ross Armstrong, Trish and Noel Hutton and Long O’Donnell, who kindly donated two executive tickets for the Manchester United match against Southampton, won by Ben Clarke.
Finally, we would like to thank Energy Assets for their generous support and to Electro Installations Scotland Ltd, who kindly sponsored the piper.
Funds on the night totalled £650, which should rise to £780 with gift aid. It is also hoped that a further £500 will be added via SGN’s Into Action matched giving scheme.