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William Graham Is New President of The Burns Howff Club

One of the most successful years in the long history of the Burns Howff Club came to an end on 3rd May. Tributes were paid to retiring President Colin Gibson at the club’s AGM in the Globe Inn.  Reflecting on the highlights, Mr. Gibson said the 129th Anniversary Dinner was memorable with outstanding toasts from Ian Landles from Hawick and Bill Nolan from Irvine, supported by superb musicians, James Coutts on the accordion and Roddy Matthews on the fiddle. Contributors included a recitation of the “Court of Equity” from Gordon Johnston, complete with wig and gown.  The other functions at Hallowe’en, St. Andrew’s Night and the Jean Armour Dinner were equally enjoyable. There was much pride in the election of club past president Ian McIntyre as president of the Robert Burns World Federation at the annual conference in 2017.

Honorary Secretary David Smith reported on a wide range of other activities including the annual outing, this year to Edinburgh and a tour of the sites in the city with Burns’ associations. The Winter Club Night programme had a rich variety of speakers, a whisky tasting and a visit to Broughton House, Kirkcudbright.

The Waiting List for membership was still in force.

Honorary Treasurer William Johnston presented the Balance Sheet which showed a healthy surplus on the year’s events and proposed no change in the annual subscription. Honorary Librarian spoke on the acquisitions to the library stock and on the series of Library Nights with lively discussions on Burns’ works.

Retiring president Colin Gibson thanked his office-bearers and members generally for a year to remember and to mark his term as president; he presented the club library with a book “Songs of Burns for voice and piano forte” which he hoped would be useful for entertainers in future.

Office –bearers were elected for the coming year. President William Graham, a retired police officer, thanked members for the honour bestowed on him and the privilege of following a long line of distinguished presidents. Others were senior vice president, Rab Walker; junior vice president, Bob Kennedy; honorary secretary David Smith; honorary treasurer William Johnston; honorary librarian Gordon Johnston.  Executive Committee, David Miller, Bill Welsh, Jim McCambley, John Clark, Godfrey Bedford, Ken Crookshanks, Neil Johnston, George Templeton, Graham Trickey, Peter Hutchison, Callum Watson and Ron Matthews.  The president announced that the 130th Anniversary Dinner would be held in the Globe Inn on 24th January 2019.