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After best laid plans gang agley, Burns gangs virtual

Robert Burns

GIVEN he crafted poems and songs about everything from love, the land around him and even a humble mouse, Robert Burns would no doubt have managed something profound about the current Covid-19 situation. It's forced events to commemorate the Brad's brilliance to take a new tack. MSP Emma Harper, a keen Burnsian who is a Past President of Dumfries Ladies Burns Club No.1, has welcomed that the Dumfries and Galloway Burns Association (DGBA) have got behind her suggestion to hold the 2020 historic and prestigious Brow Well Ceremony online this year, rather than the annual ceremony being cancelled. Miss Harper put the idea forward during a Zoom AGM meeting of the DGBA where the group were discussing how to allow for the time honoured, historic ceremony to be marked amidst the current Covid-19 pandemic, and current social distancing requirements including prohibiting group gatherings. Burns aficionados – including the South Scotland MSP - from across D&G and beyond have joined in recording themselves reciting lines from Burns' famous dirge ‘Man Was Made to Mourn'. These clips have been edited together to show presidents and members from Burns clubs across the region – and Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries, Fiona Armstrong, President Fiona Evans, Members of both Scottish and UK Parliament's and Past Presidents of the Robert Burns World Federation - recite the poem in its entirety. This video forms part of four social media videos for broadcast on newly created DGBAssociation YouTube channel, that starts with a welcome by President Evans, who introduces immediate past RBWF President, Bill Nolan, who delivers the eulogy followed by a prayer by the Reverend Gerald Moule from Ruthwell Kirk in memory of the Bard and then Howff Club Piper Callum Watson playing the lament. Professor Gerard Carruthers, from the University of Glasgow, also presents a short history of the Brow Well and the last few days in the Life of Scotland's National Bard. The virtual event will be linked to YouTube on the DGBA Facebook page where people are encouraged to visit, view and share. Commenting, Miss Harper said: “The contribution of everyone has been phenomenal. I have been able to watch the careful editing process and the submissions are delivered carefully, competently and often passionately from all participants. “This year, many festivals, ceremony's and celebrations, have not been able to go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am therefore pleased that the DGBA supported my idea to make this year's service virtual. This has become part of everyone's new normal across the region and Scotland. “I want to thank the Dumfries & Galloway Burns Association for having such an open minded approach for this years' service, and I also thank my Dumfries and Galloway MSP and MP colleagues who have agreed to join in reciting Burns. “In the words of Burns himself, “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley.” Meaning that no matter how much planning or preparation is made, things can still go wrong, but there is always an alternative or solution. Indeed, I am pleased that we have found one which allows the 75th Annual Brow Well Ceremony to go ahead and to honour the life and works of Scotland's Bard.”

<< back Published: 21 Jul 2020, 19:11

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