Annual Dinners

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top table

The clubís Annual Dinner, a leading occasion on Perthís social calendar, was held in the Salutation Hotel, Perth on Saturday, January 29, 2011.

Once again the event lived up to its reputation of being one of the countryís foremost mixed Burns Nights and the gathering of 155 members and guests enjoyed an excellent evening of speeches and entertainment from speakers and entertainers of local, national and international acclaim.

Piper Robert Hamilton with members of the top table group. Back row [l to r] Robert Hamilton, Alastair Anderson, Dr Donald Macgregor, Elspeth Macgregor, Patsie Anderson, Donald Paton. Front row [l to r] Wilma Paton, Michael Russell MSP, President John Davidson, Jess Smith.

john davidson

"Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face". President John Davidson addressing the haggis.

michael russell

The principal speaker, Michael Russell MSP, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education and Life-long Learning, proposing the Immortal Memory.



The honoured guest and principal speaker was Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Life-long Learning.

Mr Russell fully demonstrated his deep knowledge of Scotlandís national bard in a captivating and thought-provoking Immortal Memory fully deserving of the prolonged standing ovation received from the appreciative gathering.

jess smith

The reply to the toast to The Lasses was given by Jess Smith.

alastair anderson

Perth solicitor Alastair Anderson proposed the toast to The Lasses.



The toast to The Lasses was proposed by Perth solicitor Alastair Anderson and received an entertaining and witty reply from authoress Jess Smith.

pete clark

"Hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys and reels" from Perthshire's fiddle maestro Pete Clark.

The entertainment was of the accustomed high standard.

Scotlandís fiddle maestro Pete Clark gave moving selections of Burns and Niel Gow music and a varied selection of Burns airs were delightfully sung by baritone Craig Dennis, tenor Paul Vaughan and Scots/Canadian soprano Wilma Paton.

The accompanist for the singers was Martin Neilson who was presented with honorary life membership of Perth Burns Club to mark his thirty-fourth consecutive appearance at this function and also his forthcoming move from Perth to live in the Borders.

Martin and his soprano wife, Marion, responded with an impromptu additional spot on the programme.

wilma paton

Wilma Paton, soprano.

marion and martin neilson

Martin and Marion Neilson.

craig dennis

Craig Dennis, baritone.

paul vaughan

Paul Vaughan, tenor.

donald paton

"Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read" Donald Paton reciting Tam o' Shanter.

michael kidd

"Welcome, my bonie, sweet, wee dochter!" Michael Kidd reciting "A Poet's Welcome to his Love-begotten Daughter".

star o' rabbie burns

The artistes say goodnight with "The Star o' Rabbie Burns".

we are na fou

"We are na fou, we're nae that fou" Donald Paton, Paul Vaughan and Craig Dennis performing "Willie Brew'd a Peck o' Maut".

The spoken word was performed by Michael Kidd who tastefully recited "A Poetís Welcome to His Love-begotten Daughter" and Donald Paton who told the dramatic tale of "Tam o' Shanter".

The piper was Robert Hamilton and the evening was under the chairmanship of the club president, Dr John C. Davidson, who also addressed the haggis and proposed the Loyal Toast. The Rev Geoffrey Hall gave the Selkirk Grace and greetings from Kindred Clubs and Caledonian Societies were read by club secretary, Donald Paton.

Following a vote of thanks to the speakers and artistes by immediate past-president Dr Donald Macgregor, this memorable evening ended with the entertainers leading the company in "The Star oí Rabbie Burns" which was followed by the traditional singing of "Auld Lang Syne".

A further presentation of an inscribed crystal bowl was made during the evening to Mrs Mary McNeill who retired as club treasurer last April after having held the post for twenty four years.

martin neilson

Secretary Donald Paton [right] presenting Martin Neilson with honorary life membership of Perth Burns Club in recognition of being the club's accompanist for 34 successive years.

mary mcneill

President John Davidson presenting Mary McNeill with an inscribed crystal bowl to mark her retirement after 24 years as club treasurer.

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Artistes' table.

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Top table.

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All photographs courtesy of Elliott Boyle, Perth Burns Club.