September into October has been a busy month with Tamfest taking up much time, both in organising and in participating. It was fantastic having the support of several Directors at the Tamfest Lectures and particular thanks go to Bill Dawson and Jim Thomson who provided excellent talks on Tam o’Shanter, whilst I provided the other. These can be found on the revamped Federation website at www.rbwf.org.uk

SVP Henry Cairney was a judge at the ‘Tam the Glorious' competition, whilst JVP Alan Beck’s wife Polly, a professional and qualified Speech and Drama teacher, also stepped up and the Dumfries Ladies, who normally hold a Tam o’ Shanter competition, graciously provided their Senior Vice President, Jackie Higgins to be the third. Such cooperative working is to be commended and sets the template for future events. Winner, Andy Harrower of the Medicine Hat Burns Club was hard pressed by David Brown of the Greenock Burns Club and both provided entertaining and enjoyable renditions.

Administrative matters took up quite a bit of time both in supporting Lorraine in her work and in pursuing the repairs to the Headquarters building with help from Bill Dawson and Henry Cairney in the latter.

Unfortunately Anne O’Connor left our employ in the middle of September, which was a blow, but we are very pleased to announce the return of Margaretann Dougall, who is stepping down as a Director to head the administrative team in Headquarters.

Looking to the future, it is fantastic to bring onto the Board new Directors and we are pleased to introduce Iain T Gordon as our Human Relations Director, Trekker Armstrong as the Publicity/comms Director and Neil McNair as the overarching Marketing Director (the Convenor will be determined by the marketing committee). 

We intend to resume the sub committees and the Quarterly Meeting of Members, and I am happy to announce the Quarterly Meeting will be held by Zoom on Saturday 21st November. If you wish to attend this meeting please register with the office as numbers are limited and the meeting will be password protected. Contact admin@rbwf.org.uk

I hope you agree with me that we cannot allow lockdown to stop the Federation in being as effective as it can. For this reason I am advocating a programme of activity online to keep members engaged with our Mission and to encourage people we are in contact with to become new members. We will be advertising a St Andrew’s Day Lecture on Friday 27th November and there will be a Christmas event announced shortly.