|Burns Supper February 7th, 2009|
Temple Lodge # 65 Burns supper
What is Burns Supper and Who is Rabbie Burns?
For those of you that do not know who Rabbie Burns is, we have added some history below for you to read. Be assured, you will have a wonderful time when you attend our magnificent dinner in memory to Bro Rabbie Burns.
Time, Location and Date:Date: Saturday February 7th 2009
Location: Temple Lodge #65
Dress: Smart Casual
Time: 6:30 P.M. Cocktails
Dinner: 7:00 P.M.Cost $25.00 Per Ticket
Cockaleekie Soup (Chicken and Leek soup)
Roast Beef and or Roast Chicken
Haggis with Scotch Whisky
The Haggis will be piped in by a Scottish Piper.
Edward Brookshire (203) 354-2770
Duncan Stalker (203) 259-5715
What is Burns Supper?
Burns Suppers have been part of Scottish culture for about 200 years as a means of commemorating Scotlands best loved bard. And when Burns immortalized haggis in verse he created a central link that is maintained to this day.
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favorite son, the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard was a poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best-known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a 'light' Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland.
THE FORMAT FOR A BURNS SUPPER
A few welcoming words start the evening and the meal commences with the Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat and cannot eat.
The company are asked to stand to receive the haggis. A piper then leads the chef, carrying the
It's customary for the company to applaud the speaker then stand and toast the haggis with a glass of whisky.
The company will then dine.
* * * * *
The Immortal Memory
One of the central features of the evening. An invited guest is asked to give a short speech on Burns.
Poem and Songs
Once the speech is complete the evening continues with songs and poems.
The evening will culminate with the company standing, linking hands and singing
Auld Lang Syne.
ROBERT BURNS MASONIC HISTORY
Robert Burns was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Lodge St. David, Tarbolton on 4 July (ironic date) 1781, at the age of 23. His initiation fee was 12s 6d, and paid on the same date. Like many other times in his life, Burns came into the lodge admist a controversy. Originally, there had been only one lodge in Tarbolton, chartered in 1771 from the Kilwinning Lodge, which is said to be the oldest lodges in the world (again, another story worth telling, yet for another time). In 1773, a group broke away from the lodge, forming Lodge St. David No. 174, and the original lodge became St. James Tarbolton Kilwinning No. 178, only to be reunited in 1781, 9 days before Burns's first degree. However, while St. James was clearly the older of the two lodges, St. David's name was used, and the seeds were sown for further dissension. Burns in the meantime was passed to the degree of fellowcraft, and raised to the degree of Master Mason on lst October 1781. The Lodge record book, according to James Mackay's "Burns" reads as follows:
Robert Burns in Lochly was passed and raised, Henry Cowan (ironic name!) being Master, James Humphrey Senr. Warden, and Alexr. Smith Junr. Do., Robt. Wodrow Secy. and James Manson Treasurer, and John Tannock Taylor and others of the brethren being present"(119).
Manson and Wodrow would later take the regalia of St. James's lodge from the charter chest (containing the minute-books, archives and other belongings) stored at John Richard's Inn (Richard was a Steward of Lodge St. David) after tricking Richard into a false errand with a couple of "gills" of punch. While originally ordered to return the regalia and other items by the Grand Lodge, it was eventually ruled that since the union of the 2 lodges were voluntary, then the separation was as well. The St. James lodge met again as a separate body on 17 June 1782. (Mackay, 119-120).
Burns went with Lodge St. James, and on 27 July 1784, he was elected "Depute Master" of the lodge at the ripe young age of 25. Sir John Witefoord was the Worshipful Master of the lodge, but it was somewhat of an honourary position, and the Depute Master in reality was in charge. Burns was faithful to the lodge, attending regularly and 3 minutes were in his handwriting; 29 minutes were signed by him and also show when he changed his name; originally, his father spelled the last name "Burness"; before 1786, Robert spelled it the same way. On 1 March 1786, Robert's brother Gilbert received his 2nd and 3rd degrees; both Gilbert and Robert signed their last names as "Burns"(Mackay, p.121).
1786 was not a happy year for Robert financially or emotionally; Denied his love Jean, Burns had sought comfort with Mary Campbell (the famous "Highland Mary"), who reportedly bore Burns a child and died later that year from Typhus. Burns, in grief over the loss of two women, as well as facing child support payments for Jean's unborn child, decided to flee to Jamaica to avoid grief and an angry father (and brother!). Tradition says that Burns recited his "Farewell to the Brethren of St. James Lodge, Tarbolton" on the night of 23rd June, at the stated meeting of the lodge, in anticipation of his voyage to the West Indies.
However, Burns decided to stay in Scotland when in July 1786, his Kilmarnock edition of poems was published, by a brother Freemason, and 350 brethren of St.John's Lodge, Kilmarnock, subscribed to a copy. In October he was made an honourary member of Lodge Kilmarnock Kilwinning St. John, and wrote "Masonic Song" in honour of the lodge and its Worshipful Master, Major William Parker (McLeod, p.169).
Burns's rise in popularity for his poems also contributed to his rise in Freemasonry. At a meeting of Lodge St. Andrew in Edinburgh in 1787, at which the Grand Master and Grand Lodge of Scotland was present, Burns was toasted by the Worshipful Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Francis Chateris, with the words "Caledonia and Caledonia's bard, Bro. Robt. Burns", which was met with a terrific response from the brethren. Burns was completely taken aback, and though trembling, returned the toast of the Grand Master, to response of 'Very Well Indeed' from some of the officers of the Grand Line (McLeod, p. 169). In February 1787, Burns was made the Poet Laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No. 2, Edinburgh. Wallace McLeod, in his essay "Robert Burns", quotes the minute book, which states:
The Right Worshipful Master, having observed that Brother Burns was present in the lodge, who is well known as a great poetic writer, and for a late publication of his works, which have been universally commended, submitted that he should be assumed a [honourary] member of this lodge, which was unanimously agreed to, and he was assumed accordingly (McLeod, pp.169-171, Mackay, pp. 273-274).
Tradition has it the Burns was installed as Poet Laureate at the March meeting of the lodge (as many paintings show), but lodge records disprove this, although some maintain that faulty records and Robert's modesty are responsible for it being left out of the lodge minutes and Robert's letters; Mackay doubts that Burns would have purposely left out such a high accolade to his work as a poet (McLeod, p.170, Mackay, p.274). When the first Edinburgh Edition of his poems was released in April 1787, and again, many subscribers were members of Canongate, including the publisher, printer and artist who supplied the frontispiece for the edition. Like his Kilmarnock edition, Freemasons assisted their brother and ultimately gave the world the gift of Burns's poetry.
Burns was exalted a companion in the Holy Royal Arch Degree in May 1787 at St. Ebbe's Lodge, Eyemouth. The companions unanimously agreed to admit Burns without paying the necessary fees, as they were greatly honoured to have such a great poet and man like Burns as part of their chapter (Mackay, p.311). When Burns moved to Dumfries, he joined Lodge St. Andrew on St. John's Day, 1788, and once again, showed a great enthusiasm for his lodge. In 1792, he was elected Senior Warden and served a one-year term. This was the last Masonic office he held before his death in 1796. He was 37 years old.