SFU's Leith Davis is creating a world wide Burns Statue recognition both in the real and the virtual world

2008_Dec 044 by you.

Todd Wong at the Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park – photo Judy Maxwell

It's the 250th Birthday of Robert Burns and he's looking a little bit worn for wear in Vancouver's Stanley Park. Robbie's been standing in Stanley Park since 1928.  I wrote a story about it in December 9th: Robert Burns Statue in Vancouver's Stanley Park,

The rededication plaque reads:

“This
statue of Robert Burns, Scotland's National Bard, was unveiled by J.
Ramsay MacDonald , a Prime Minister of Britain, on 25th August, 1928.
Robert
Burns's sincere desire for friendship and brotherhood among all peoples
is clearly shown in his many poems and songs.  His poetry and letters,
both serious and humorous are worthy of study by those who value
liberty and freedom. 
This memorial was rededicated on the 200th Anniversary of the Bard's death by the Burns Club of Vancouver.
21 July 1996
“Then let us pray that come it may
(as come it will for a' that)…
that man to man, the world o'er
shall birthers be for a' that

I also wrote a story about all the other statues Vancouver's Robert Burns statue is a copy of the George Lawson original from Ayr Scotland with pictures of the same statue in Ayr Scotland, Halifax, Winnipeg, Montreal, Melbourne, Australia, Belfast and Paris. 

So this Sunday, at 12 noon. Leith Davis and I will meet to lay a wreath and flowers at the Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park.  We'll read some poems and verses… and maybe sing Auld Lang Syne.

Leith wants us to meet at 11:45am and take a group picture, so we can send it to her contacts in the other cities with Burns Statues – all at precisely the same time.  And maybe while we are laying a wreath in real time, Leith will set it up to lay a wreath in virtual time, in Second Life. 

I'm really excited about this.  I haven't met Leith in person yet.  Leith will be a special guest at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner on Sunday January 25th.  We will have one of the largest Burns Suppers in Metro Vancouver with over 550 attendees. 

Check out the SFU press release below:

World to wish Burns virtual ‘Happy 250th’

January 15, 2009
The world will come together to celebrate Robbie Burns Day on Jan. 25 – the 250th anniversary of his birth – in a way Scotland’s national bard would never have conceived.

At precisely 12 noon p.m. (PST) – with a crowd assembled in Vancouver at the
Burns statue in Stanley Park – gatherings around the world will send
greetings and photos to each other via the internet, creating one
massive Burns celebration in cyberspace.

The virtual party has attracted participants from cities across Canada,
U.S., Britain and Australia. “It has been interesting developing this
network, as it suggests just how prevalent Burns’ influence is even
today,” says organizer Leith Davis, director of SFU’s Centre for
Scottish Studies.

There are also plans to create a memorial to Burns on SFU’s Second Life
website. The centre is holding a contest to find an appropriate 21st century image of the famous poet and song-writer (details are at www.sfu.ca/scottish)

The deadline is April 1 and the winner will be announced during the Robert Burns in Transatlantic Culture workshop
at SFU’s Harbour Centre campus April 7-9. The workshop is the first
event of its kind to focus on Burns in the Americas.

“We’re hoping to bring Burns into focus, not just as a nostalgic relic of the 19th
century but as a poet who has much to say in our time,” says Davis.
“Burns’ message was all about universal brotherhood, and sisterhood, by
extension, and that is still a vital message today.”

Davis is currently in Scotland to deliver a lecture, The Performance of Burns in Popular Culture, to the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s 2009 conference, Robert Burns and Global Culture.

Conference participants will share the latest research on Burns while
leading Burns scholars will reflect on such issues as the global
reputation of Burns, his influence on the image of Scotland abroad and
the continuing celebration of Burns in global culture through statues,
music and Burns Supper events.

Davis will return Jan. 24 for the Burns virtual event and the Gung
Haggis Fat Choy event Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Floata Chinese
Restaurant (see http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/)

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