THE MIDDLE of January was a particularly busy time for the Strathmore Speakers’ Club when their annual Evaluation Contest was quickly followed by a Burns Supper.
David Affleck was chairman on the evening of the contest and was assisted by Helen Fleming of Forfar and Bill Walker in the role of timekeepers.
Edwin Petrie was first with ‘In the Wake of the Elements’ in which he described the work of the State Emergency Service in Australia.
David Howat then delivered his speech entitled ‘Who do You think You are?’. He looked at the various TV programmes dealing with family history before going on to talk about researching his own family tree.
Chief Judge Iain Orr of Kirriemuir thanked all of the competitors for their appraisals. He announced the winner was Jim Gibb and the runner-up was Jim Smith.
The Burns Supper held later in the week at the Northmuir Hall was a great success with president Bill Walker in the chair. The haggis was carried by Muriel Smith, led by the young piper Ben Anderson and suitably addressed by Jim Gibb. Alex Rae said Grace and Ben Anderson played a selection of tunes on the pipes.
The audience was privileged to hear the Toast to the Immortal Memory of the National Bard given by this year’s president of the Robert Burns World Federation, club member Robert Stewart of Kirriemuir, resplendent in the chain of office.
This was followed by a Toast to the Lassies from Bill Walker. Davina Farquharson entertained with two Burns songs, accompanied by Nancy Davidson. Jim Smith performed ‘Tam O’Shanter’ and ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’, after a background introduction by Eric Summers. Alex Rae gave the vote of thanks.