OUR second Burns Night Supper held last night (January 27th) was another resounding success, judging by feedback that has been pouring in all day. Tickets were snapped up pretty quickly, not only by people who enjoyed last year's event but newcomers who didn't want to miss out. Among them members of neighbouring Huntingdon Conservative Association attending for the first time.
We were especially delighted to welcome a contingent of US officers from RAF Molesworth, home of the NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre, seeking an authentic Burns experience. This is what they told us afterwards: "What an incredible evening! Thank you for making us so welcome - if there is another event you are hosting we want to be there!"
All the essential elements were in place from tartan and whisky to a delicious classic three-course menu prepared by the staff at Peterborough Milton Golf Club who once again looked after us so well. And of course, no Burns event would be complete without bagpipes. Gary Kernaghan, a member of RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums, did us proud piping in the ceremonial haggis, followed by a dramatic recitation of the traditional Address to a Haggis.
Storytime with Archie began with some fascinating facts about the life and loves of Robert 'Rabbie' Burns, before reading 'To a Mouse' said to be one of his very first poems. It seems he was something of a philanderer and legend has it there are upwards of 1,000 descendants as a result of his many dalliances! Storytime concluded with the haunting voice of the late folk singer Eva Cassidy who turned Burns' poem 'My Luve is Like a Red, Red Rose' into a hit song. In case you are wondering, that is the correct spelling of his original verse!
The evening ended with a lively auction... three bottles of Parliamentary whisky, one each signed by former prime ministers Theresa May and Liz Truss plus one signed by our current PM Rishi Sunak. No prizes for guessing which one raised the most...we couldn't possibly say!
Vote of thanks was given by the Rt Hon Shailesh Vara MP and the evening ended with distribution of raffle prizes... all proceeds go towards Association funds to support elections and ensure our office continues to be run efficiently. Association chairman Steve Corney said afterwards: "This was a fabulous event and the room was buzzing from start to finish. We thank everyone who helped make it such a success, not least Richard and the Milton staff who pulled out all the stops and everyone who donated a raffle prize. We are planning for next year and please keep an eye on the website events page so you don't miss out."