As President Elect, I take on the mantle of responsibility for the office on the 1st September, as Brian Goldie relinquishes the role on the 31st August in accordance with the governing documents. It is therefore my pleasant duty to introduce myself to those of you who I do not yet know. I hope that through the support and guidance of the Board of Directors and the membership, we might begin a new chapter in the activities and purpose of this fantastic institution which is the Robert Burns World Federation. As a Burnsian I have only been involved with a Burns Club for just over four years, when I was invited to join the Cumbernauld and District Burns Club, but prior to that time, I knew, read and experienced the work of Robert Burns and was first involved in giving a Toast to the Lasses when sixteen and gave my first Immortal Memory when twenty one. I am now involved with a number of Burns clubs and associations and I hope to bring into the Federation a number of my colleagues from these clubs as new members of the Federation.
There is much to do and I am sorry that circumstances have prevented Brian my predecessor from achieving all he might have wished, due to lockdown, but where he has succeeded it will provide a lasting legacy.
I am a firm believer that the core of our mission is summed up by the word 'education' and it is very much my intention to promote the widest understanding of that concept, which encompasses everyone in its reach from the cradle to the grave. This will prove to be challenging as not only must we promote the excellent Schools Competitions, but we must also be at the forefront of widening the range of opportunities for people of all ages. Thinking outside the usual parameters is an essential to breathe new vitality into what and who we are.
Heritage is also another key note in my plan for the success of the Federation and I hope that we will not only support the heritage that is already part of our existing culture, but we will encourage the preservation and creation of new artistic artefacts and responses.
There is much more to say and to tell you, and over the months, I hope to bring to you the ideas which we are working on, but more than that, I want to issue you a challenge, to come up with ideas to support and develop the Federation.
The future of the Federation is in the strength of the resolve of the membership to cherish and promote the works of Robert Burns and that of Scottish culture. It is a proud heritage to promote.