Doonhamer Gerry McLellan Gives Japan a Taste of Burns

Gerry McLellan, a “Doonhamer”  who is now a resident in Japan,  organised a Burns Night in the land of the rising sun this year with some help from the Burns Howff Club from the his home town of Dumfries.

The Chubu (central Japan) branch of the Japan Scotland Association (JSA) held its first burns Supper at the Hilton Nagoya Hotel on January 28th 2017. Gerry McLellan, head of the Chubu branch and from Dumfries, has lived in Japan since 1988. Since becoming head last year, he has held a whisky tasting and is now arranging a Highland Games. However, he has always wanted to host a Burns Night.

Gerry Told DGWGO ‘Coming from Dumfries, it is the logical thing to do, I won the Burns prize at primary school and have always been interested in Burns. Auld Lang Syne is often played here when stores close or at graduation ceremonies and Japanese are always intrigued to find that the music was written by Burns.’

The Hilton General manager is from Germany and used to work in Scotland. He is a great lover of whisky and was thrilled to be involved and to have the event at the Hilton. Gerry says that he also received well wishes from the mayor of Nagoya. He hopes that he will attend next January.”

Gerry went on to say “The night was a huge success and was truly international with guests from Japan, England, Wales, the US, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and France. All said they had a great night and want to attend next year. A number of guests are also planning to recite some poetry next time!

One of the treats of the evening was the video message sent from the Burns Howff Club in Dumfries. Gerry expressed his gratitude for the time spent on sending a message from President William Johnston in Japanese and making a video to show the sights of Dumfries and the final resting spot of Burns. A few comments were made, mainly by Americans, of how lovely the close to the Globe Inn was.

Gerry made the Scotch Broth and the Hilton chef took care of everything else.

The spirit of Brotherhood was truly on display as new friends were made. Gerry has received a number of mails expressing thanks since the evening and he intends to make Burns Night a regular event on the Nagoya calendar.


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