Another year almost gone. So, what has been going on in the Federation this year?
Well, as usual, the beginning of the year was very busy, with all the Burns Supper celebrations across the world.
The start of the year is always a busy time in the office with membership renewals and requests from schools for certificates for their annual competitions.
I also personally attended the Irvine Lasses Burns Supper at the Hallmark Hotel which was a great night as always.
The spring months started with us finalising the Annual Conference details and sending out the information to members.
The hugely popular schools competitions took place in April and May and as always were a huge success. Congratulations to all our 2016 winners.
In May, Greenock Burns Club hosted the Lasses Lunch in the Tontine Hotel in Greenock which was very successful due to our fabulous speaker, Kirsteen McCue from Glasgow University and equally fabulous entertainers, Rachael McDaid( Piper) Amy Morrison ( recitation) and we must not forgot the one very brave boy amongst all these lasses, John Morrison (recitation). Thank you to the hard working committee in Greenock.
The Digitisation project has progressed this year due to the support of many of our members, with quite a number of Chronicles already digitised and now available on the website. There are still volumes available for sponsorship, please get in touch, if this is something you would like to be involved in.
September took the Annual RBWF Conference 2016 to Peebles Hydro for the 2nd year. This year we had almost 140 delegates in attendance. Friday evening’s dinner was informal with Luath, along with several delegates, providing the evening’s entertainment which was enjoyed by all in attendance.
President Peter welcomed a large number of delegates to the AGM on Saturday morning. Overseas guests were introduced and received a warm welcome.
Another highlight of the Conference was the awards of Honorary Membership to Joe McGinty for all his years of outstanding service and commitment to the work of the Federation. Honorary President’s Medals were also awarded to John Chapman and Boyd Tunnock.
Chains of office were exchanged on Saturday evening with Bill Nolan becoming Junior Vice President, Ian McIntyre receiving the Senior Vice President chain and Bobby Kane receiving his Presidential Chain of Office from Peter Hughes. Peter received his Past President’s Medal from Bobby.
After dinner and speeches, the delegates were then invited to take the floor, accompanied by the Pentlands Ceilidh Band.
The National Raffle took place during the interval. None of the winners were present at the Conference, so late night phone calls were made to the big winners!! Thank you to all the sellers for their hard work in selling the tickets (some in the wind/rain etc at the “Summer Fayres” in Scotland!). Full winners details are available on the RBWF website.
The singing of Auld Lang Syne brought to a close another very successful conference.
The Sunday morning service was conducted by the Rev. David Ness, with a collection uplifted for ‘Help for Heroes’ as nominated by Rev. Ness.
Now into Autumn/Winter, which has been filled with 2017 Schools Competition preparation, New 2017 Chronicle and Membership Renewals sent out.
October also had our new President, Bobby Kane, make his first trip overseas as RBWF President, when he visited Canada for the Medicine Hat Jolly Beggars Banquet. He had a wonderful time and is looking forward to many more trips in 2017.
November brought a major announcement in terms of the Schools Sponsorship with President Bobby Kane announcing that a 3 year sponsorship package has been secured with Golden Wonder!
The St Petersburg Forum also welcomed the Russian student prize winners to Scotland, where they were welcomed by many clubs and associations.
The Bi-Monthly newsletter has continued to be a great success during 2016 and we look forward to our members/clubs providing articles for our 2017 editions.
There are many others events etc that have taken place over the year, I could be here all day! I hope I have been able to give you a brief overview of some of the activities that we and our army of volunteers, members and clubs are involved in.
Finally, Beverley and I would like to thank you for all you support during 2016 and we look forward to assisting you in 2017.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND ALL THE VERY BEST TO OUR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS FOR 2017!!