Everyone was Scottish for a night on Saturday, Jan. 27 as the Cowichan Pipes & Drums held their annual Robbie Burns Night in Duncan.
Robbie Burns Night
The big banquet room at the Ramada Inn was filled to enjoy an evening of food, fun, and culture honouring Scotland’s favourite poet.
This year, the event started off with the presentation of an engraved quaich (drinking cup) to Bill Dingee, who was judged to have distinguished himself in the service of the band. His name is also engraved on a silver flask which includes the names of previous honourees, including Hugh W.Wright, Frank Nichol, Wayne Coombs, Mary and Eric Monk, Gord Pollock, Carol Fowler, Dave Hjalmarson, and Derek Crawford.
Then, it was on with the show!
Sword bearer Bob Smith and pipers Hugh Gallinger and Darcy Cowan led in Mike Wright, who was bearing the official haggis, and Paul Scott, the whiskey bearer.
Richard Nichol was on stage to receive all these offerings before he began a spirited recitation of Robbie Burns’s Address to the Haggis, which praises Scotland’s national dish above all others. Then the noble haggis was marched off in style.
Other popular parts of the program include the Selkirk Grace, a dinner with haggis, scotch eggs, chappit tatties, and mashed neeps, the loyal toast (offered by Bob Smith), the toast to the immortal memory (by David Robertson), the toast to the lassies and the response (Frank Nichol and Allie Savory) and a full evening of entertainment.
The Cowichan Pipes & Drums had a big contingent on hand for the event, and played a variety of selections, some of which featured performances by members of the Kathy White Dancers.
This event is also a major fundraiser for the band, and organizers were delighted that every seat had been sold.