Ian, Deb, Sarah, Robert and Lilias sit and read Burns poetry beneath the Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park. – photo Todd Wong
It was a unique event last night at the Robert Burns Statue
in Stanley Park. Several people met there to commemorate the death of
Robert Burns 213 years ago. Burns is the marshalling point for
Scotland's Homecoming year and we read some of his poetry and
reminisced about the big event back in 1996 in Stanley Park to commemorate the
bard's 200th anniversary, with the parade and the ceilidh after at the
Rowing Club. Robert Barr told us how pipe bands and people gathered at the parking lot of the Bayshore Inn, and paraded down Georgia Street to the Stanley Park Entrance. A ceremony was held at the Robert Burns statue that had been erected 81 years ago August 25th, 1928.
It was a gathering of friends who enjoy Burns poetry and the
friendships of each other. We started off meeting at the Irish Heather
Pub, and were given the Shebeen Whiskey Tasting room for our group. We
tasted the Famous Grouse (official scotch for Homecoming 2009 and the
Burns Suppers 2009), the official Robert Burns scotch whiskey, and the
Jamieson Irish whiskey.
Then off to Stanley Park for some poetry
readings. We had a moment of silence following the 9 O'Clock Gun. We
each took turns reading a Burns poem, and telling Burns stories, and
how Burns events had touched our lives. Robert Barr shared his
reminiscence about the big re-dedication event in Stanley Park to
commemorate the bard's 200th anniversary of his death, with the parade
and the ceilidh after at the Rowing Club.
It was wonderfully informal, yet still endearing. What a wonderful way to spend a
summer evening… reading Robert Burns poetry beside Coal Harbour at
sundown. I am grateful for both your friendship and Ian's, and the
mentorship in the ways of Burns dinners.