Mark Masons' Hall, 86 St. James’s Street, London

Bournemouth Burns Bonanza!

This year’s Provincial Burns Weekend got off to a cracking start with a casual dinner on the Friday accompanied by live music. The torrential rain and gale-force winds on Saturday morning did little to dampen everyone’s spirits in the run-up to the main event – the gala Burns Night Supper. R.W. Bro. David Ashbolt opened the evening with some welcoming comments – his last as President, as he is standing down to be replaced by V.W. Bro. Tim MacAndrews. The PGM, R.W. Bro. Tom Quinn, gave his inimitable Address to the Haggis which had been piped in by W. Bro. Paul Burgess. After the sumptuous meal the assembled 190 brethren, partners and guests heard the Toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns – given in rhyming couplets by W. Bro. Jon Wallis. Then there was the Toast to the Lassies by W. Bro. Michael Singleton followed by a spirited response from Mrs Jill Baker (to much applause). There then followed the main event as the audience was entertained by Tom and Eunice who, in accordance with established custom, pulled no punches by including a humorous mention in their songs of many of the senior people around the room!

The event does have its serious side too as the raffle, with its several valuable prizes, raised in excess of £2,000 – the proceeds going to the MBF. The whole evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all present and of course benefitted from being under the jurisdiction, guidance and control of an excellent Toastmaster, our very own W. Bro. Wes Hollands.

And on the subject of Wes, the PGM announced that Wes would be standing down as an APGM in July after 4 years of sterling service. His successor, to be invested at the Provincial Annual Meeting, will be W. Bro. Marios Stylianides.

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