Bergen Scottish Society

Burns Supper

• Burns' Supper
Saturday 25th January - Tracteursted, Gamle Bergen

Tracteursted staff are to be commended, along with the current Society committee, for making the this year's annual Burns Supper an enjoyable evening!  The large dining area upstairs and the cosy atmosphere downstairs, used for coffee and cakes while the upstairs was cleared for the dancing portion of the evening, allowed the guests to appreciate the venue's historic ambience.

There was lots of time for dancing at the end of the evening; a great way for everyone to participate. Yet although part of the tradition, a Burns Supper is so much more than dancing.

The focus on Burns was kicked off with the singing of four Burns' Songs by Grendakoret, the choir in Bergen with the largest selection of Burns song in their repetoire.  All were sorry to hear that the choir is considering disbanding, thus bringing wet eyes to this writer on the presentation of "My Heart's in the Highlands".  Thank you, Grendakoret for your long-time association with the Bergen Scottish Society!

Burns was with us in spirit the entire evening, from the masterful reciting of the Address to a Haggis by Jim Fulton, the saying of the Selkirk Grace by our ever versatile and reliable Master of Ceremonies, James Hosea, and the delivery of a thought-provoking Immortal Memory by the current director of Bergen Nasjonal Opera, Mary Miller, right through to the lightness and poetic references of this year's Toast to the Lassies, presented by Society member Stephen Erskine and its Reply, presented by the Canadian Consul in Bergen, Karin Pittman.

All these formalities were taken inbetween the enjoyment of yet another successful Findlay's haggis expertly crafted by the staff at Solheim Kjøtt, served with tasty neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes) prepared by the staff at Tracteursted, as well as the lovely trifle which nicely rounded off the evening's fare. Again Tracteursted came to the fore, as a staff member aptly bore in the "Addressed" haggis to the music provided by Bergen Pipes & Drums pipemajor, Thomas De Ridder.

Thomas had more opportunities to delight the guests, both with support from a few members of the Bergen Pipes & Drums, playing in two different sets during the evening, and in an astounding duet with piper Gregor Campbell.

Gregor's mother, Ann, the pipeband's and the Society's kilt maker extraordinaire, was present as a guest this year, and the committee took the opportunity to present her with flowers, as a token of our appreciation for all she has done for the two organizations over the years.  Susan George, past treasurer of both the Society and pipeband, and founding member of the tenor drumming section of the pipeband, was also recognized for her contributions with the presentation of flowers.  We're going to miss you in Bergen, Susan!

Burns helped us to close the evening after the dancing was finished, as we all joined hands to form a circle and sang Auld Lang Syne to the sound of Gregor's bagpipes.

Congratulations to all!  And we look forward to equal success at the Society's 10th annual Burns Supper next year!

Photos to follow...