THE Isle of Wight Caledonian Society held its annual Burns' Night supper at the New Holmwood Hotel in Cowes.

President Margaret Walding welcomed around 70 guests to celebrate the life and works of Scotland's national bard, Rabbie Burns, at the event on Saturday night.

The Selkirk Grace was said by Sally Allcard before the haggis, reverentially carried by the chef de cuisine, was piped in by Dr Kieron Cooney and formally addressed — in customary dramatic style — by Ian Watterson.

The Immortal Memory, a tribute to Burns, was delivered by Island poet Mark Mordey.

He said: "Robert Burns saved a lot of traditional Scottish songs from being forgotten, much like Cecil Sharpe did for English folk music, and Beethoven was asked to write or slightly convert the old melodies to how we know them now.

"Burns' poetry's influence on humanity worldwide and the brotherhood of all mankind remains pertinent today, with an enduring message for people to do good to each other."

Roger Ward gave a humorous and complimentary Toast to the Lassies. In response, Judy Valvona, Siobhan Cosgrove and Eleanor Boulter shared renditions of two of Burns' songs.

Traditional Scottish dancing followed the meal and speeches. The dancing was led by Aileen Napper and accompanied by Dr Cooney.

A society spokesperson said: "It was a great evening with a fantastic atmosphere, organised by our social secretary, Lin Patey, who did a wonderful job.

"Sue Logan decorated the room and tables in a very appropriate Scottish style which added to the success of the evening."

The Society dances at St George's School in Newport on Tuesdays at 7pm, and all are welcome to join.

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