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Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band Burns Night a hit

By Contributor
February 4th, 2016

A sellout crowd flocked to the Eagles Hall this past Saturday night to participate in Nelson’s Annual Burns Night, hosted by the Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band.

The traditional dinner of haggis, neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes), and roast beef was served to a “Sold Out” gathering of Scottish culture enthusiasts.

In addition to the dinner, patrons came to hear the local pipe band play a variety of Scottish tunes, and Celtic tunes played on the fiddle by Brie Hurlbert.

The B. McJones Highland Dancers entertained the assembled with several Highland dances.

The Kootenay Kiltie’s Burns Night has been contributing to the maintenance of Scottish culture for almost a century.

Robert Burns, the National Bard of Scotland, was born 257 years ago on January 25th and lived only to the age of 37; it is reported that 10,000 people lined the streets for his funeral. 

As the most famous of Scottish poets, he wrote for the common man and achieved the equivalence of “Rock Star” status in an age of books and handwritten letters.

His birthdate is celebrated around the world, with his poetry and songs being the focal point for a great evening of merriment. It would be rare indeed for anyone not to know the song Auld Lang Syne, the New Year’s Eve standard which unites the planet in welcoming in the new year with a look back,

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”.

Who has not heard: “The best laid schemes of mice and men, gang aft agley”, “My love is like a red, red rose that’s newly sprung in June”, or “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing”.

He wrote on every topic and left a rich volume of work which provides great fodder for a evening of fun.

Highlights of the evening included, in turn, Peter and Mary Defeo giving the Toast to the Lassies and The Toast to the Laddies, drawing on the works of Burns and their own amusing anecdotes.

Angus Graeme delivered the Immortal Memory [of Robert Burns] using a book of Burns poetry, inherited from his great grandfather, and brought the address to life with personal musings wrapped in a blanket of Burns.

In 2019, three years from now, the Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary.

The band, the oldest independent pipe band in British Columbia, will soon embark on its second century of existence.

With a look to the future, the band is looking to increase the numbers of pipers and drummers in its ranks. To that end, there has never been a better time to learn how to play a bagpipe or a drum.

Anyone who loves the sound of a pipe band, a band member  can teach you how to play one of its instruments, so join in the fun, and the history. Put yourself in the band and join in time to play for the centenary.

For more information please contact Visit the webpage or on Facebook under Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band.

Photo Caption: Tenor drummer Elizabeth Nunn and Piper Laura Smit lead festivities at Nelson’s Annual Burns Night. — Photo courtesy Cheryl Bonowicz

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