O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us……
When the Bard of Ayrshire, the great Rabbie Burns, penned those immortal words “O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us” I’m not entirely sure he had in mind that the ‘Power’ would be Zoom, and that the ‘giftie’ would be our ability to see ourselves, and others, on screen in a virtual meeting. But that is exactly how thirty odd Liverymen and their partners came together to celebrate Burns’ Night “lockdown style” this week.
In a hastily arranged ‘Burns in the Kitchen’ event, guests were warmly welcomed by the Master, Jonathan Driver, who had been featured earlier in the day in The Daily Telegraph and was still resplendent in full his ceremonial fur (he tells us he never takes it off,) to a fun hour of chat, toasts, poetry and the odd wee dram – a great way to mark the occasion in these difficult days.
In Scottish accents both genuine (and less so!), and with great aplomb, our respective haggis’ were addressed (IPM Kenny Mackay), Rabbie Burns remembered (The Master), Lassies toasted (Upper Warden Chris Porter), and responses given (Assistant Kirsten Grant Meikle), with technology playing its part admirably. We even had small group chats, almost as if we’d been seated at Vintners’ Hall, talking with the people around us in between speeches.
The highlight of the event has to be a poem from The Juist Past Maister, Kenny Mackay, extolling the virtues of fellowship and camaraderie in these virtual times, in language of which Burns himself would have been proud.
It was a wonderful hour, well organised, well run, well attended and, well, great fun! So well done to Kim and the team who pulled it all together in such short order.