The House for an Art Lover’s music room was full when Glasgow South Business Club President, Remo Pisaneschi welcomed members and guests to their annual Burns lunch on Tuesday 24 January.
Govan High School music students entertained the crowd as people assembled and their Heidie, Iain White, piped in the haggis. Club member, journalist Grace Franklin, gave her usual flamboyant performance of Burns’ Address to the Haggis. The toast to the Immortal Memory of the Bard was given in humorous fashion by Alan Murray who is modest about his knowledge of the poet. In the course of his illuminating and witty speech, he sang one of Burns’ songs and recited verses from several poems. An effective tour de force that was as entertaining as it was enlightening. Alan is a Govanite by birth and early education. He currently runs a new styled, multi uses, community centre in Maybole, Ayrshire.
Honorary Life Member, Frank Bendoris, thanked all the contributors. The Club, which meets monthly, has important guests signed up for future meetings, including Brian Souter and First Minister Alex Salmond. Full information from the Club’s website: www.glasgowsouthbusiness club.co.uk
A world ranked team of experts on Robert Burns, Scotland’s national Bard, had a good gathering at the University of Glasgow on Saturday 14 January.
The annual event was organised by the University’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies and launched a new sculpture of the poet by artist Deirdre Nicholls.
Among the nine speakers was a rare public appearance by private collector Dr William Zachs whose generous sharing of his many manuscripts and items directly owned or handled by Burns continues to cause great excitement in Burns circles and beyond.
Furthest travelled was Gordon Ashley of New York who reflected on ways to keep interest in the poet maintained after 250 years.
Dr Kirsteen McCue, co-director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow said: ‘This annual event provides a real insight into many aspects of Robert Burns and the period in which he lived.’
Her co-director, Dr Gerard Carruthers, stepped in at short notice to give a talk on his progress researching Burns and Freemasonry. He said: ‘We are considering having a special seminar to examine all the information. Our motives are pure and we hope this will yield some very nice new information. ‘
A question from a young Chinese woman scholar at the end of the day asked: ‘What makes everyone so enthusiastic about collecting things? When I read Burns’ poetry it is the emotion that communicates itself to me.’
The answer from the Collector Dr Zachs was: ‘I believe we have something to learn from all of these objects. This enables us to put Burns into a wider context culturally and makes the legacy he has created even more valuable to us as people.’