As a college with a Scottish Bursar, we make every effort to hold a memorable and stylish Burns Night Dinner and this year’s event was no exception. The evening began with retired Royal Air Force Piper Gary Kernaghan, playing a traditional Scottish air while tartan-attired guests gathered in the Common Room. Former Vice-President, Stephen Bourne introduced this celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns and recited the famous Selkirk Grace.
The kitchens served a ‘braw’ meal with the best of Scottish produce including salmon, venison and of course the haggis – which was piped ceremoniously into the Dining Hall. Tom Kennedy, husband of former Senior Tutor Bobbie Wells, gave a bravura performance of To a Haggis and after the ritual plunge of the knife into the “great chieftain o’ the puddin-‘race”, the diners toasted the haggis with a shot (or two) of whisky.
Clare Hall choral conductor and MMus student, Ben de Souza, performed traditional Scottish country music on his accordion during the meal and finally the Bursar, Ian Strachan, delivered a tribute to Burns and his poetry followed by a toast to his Immortal Memory.
Cambridge University Ceilidh band provided the music for a rumbustious ceilidh into which the guests threw themselves with abandon, skipped the Gay Gordon and finally collapsed in various states of exhaustion at the end of a great evening. We hope we did Rabbie proud.