Robert Burns Tribute Celebration

In September of 1990, Mary and I moved in to our new home at 133 Major street. In the summer of 1991 I took up my pipes again after a 32 year hiatus, having stopped playing after a hassle with my father typical of the kinds of things fathers and 14 old boys have to deal with. By January 25 1992, I was organizing our first Burns Night at our new home and ever since there have been 20 such celebrations without interruption. – this one in 2012 will be are 21st Burns Night.

The evening has changed over the years- the first one saw about 25 people come and enjoy some recitations, good fellowship and yes, the haggis was piped in and addressed but that was about it. People left after a few drinks and the house was back to normal by 9:30.

In 1994, Mary and I were invited to do the Address and do some piping at the College Street Bar and we agreed to go after our own celebration at our home. It turned out to be fortuitous as we have maintained a ‘second celebration at a bar’ ever since, and Heather Morgan was there and she sang so beautifully that she has been a part of the celebration with us ever since.

In 1994 I was part of the organizing committee for the Sussex Ulster Residents’ Association [later HVRA] that mounted the first Fall Fair. I was in charge of the music and a very fine couple of musicians, Peter Senn [guitar] and Deborah Jackson [recorder and fiddle] were wonderful performers that year I had the brilliant idea to invite them to play at our Burns Night – January 1995 and we have had music ever since.

Burns Night at 133 Major Street – An Introduction

From that time forward the programme became pretty much what it is today:

  • 7-9 at the house:
  • Music, dance and poetry
  • Address to a Haggis and neeps and taties.
  • Break for food and drink
  • More dancing and music
  • 9:30 to midnight at the Bar
    College Street Bar 1994-1995
    Ted’s Collision 1996-2003 
    Free Times 2004-present
  • Music and dance with full band
  • Address to a Haggis and neeps and taties.

Rory Sinclair
January, 2012

Cinematographers: Robert Jackson & John-Marc Hamilton
Editors: Robert Jackson & John-Marc Hamilton
Sound & Mastering: Crave Music Studios