I intend to do two blog posts with a similar theme 'Burns Night Suppers' here is the first.
In the last 6 years, we at Loughries have hosted a number of Burns Night Suppers - in the Town Hall, Newtownards. They have become so successful, that we have had to limit numbers of guests. The first year we had around 100 guests, earlier this year we reduced the numbers to around 86, really to assist the caters.
Each year we invited guests, Mayors, MPs MLA's really to promote primarily the great work being done by Loughries Historical Society!
Again we such a richness of talent that we able to call upon different groups, acts and performers to make the event something special.
Here is a snippet of the burns supper 3 years ago - addressing the haggis is none other than Willie McAvoy half of the double act 'The Twa Wullies'. Willie McAvoy addressed the haggis with great poise - in a poetic & dramatic way - the guests almost lifted off the roof with a loud cheer as he tore open the haggis with his ceremonial knife. Later in the evening the Twa Wullies entertained us with some local Ulster Scots poems & yarns told as these stories are meant to be told in their native tongue. I remember the tears of laughter streaming down many faces of the audience as the stories rolled out - fantastic!
Once again as I reflect on 6 years work at Loughries, it is easy to have a great night - when you have a richness of great, talented folk, again I emphasise - high quality authentic Ulster Scots material, should they be musicians, dancers or in this case in question Natural Ulster Scots Speakers.
Below are a few snaps of one of the Burns Night Suppers: -
Will McAvoy - addressing the Haggis, holding the audience captive.
Toasting the Haggis - Piper Stephen Rodgers, Amy Johnston, Will McAvoy & Willie Cromie.
Willie Cromie - Native Ulster Scots speaker, in full flow.
A full house in the Londonderry Room of the Market House N'Ards.
Wilbert Magill & Will McAvoy.
Wilbert Magill will be the subject of my next post!!