12 February 2010
It was a particular pleasure to visit one of the newest Clubs to join the Federation; the Wanganui Burns Club which was affiliated as Federation number 2377 in 2001. I am pictured below with Club President John Hanna with the Federation Membership Certificate proudly on view on the
A very special part of the evening was being given a formal Maori welcome from Paddy 'Cameron' Haira who is the 'Kaumatua' or Cultural Spokesperson for the Wanganui Burns Club. I had to respond to the welcome in bringing greetings from Scotland and the Federation and also had to lead in a song in response to their welcome song.
Following this very special introduction Pat and I were treated to a lovely meal of haggis pastries and silverside beef followed by fruit and ice cream. I had to speak for my supper and enjoyed another very lively question and answer session. I was delighted when the audience said they now better appreciated the role and work of the Federation in promoting the life and works of Robert Burns. Yet again we were hosted magnificently during our visit by Neil Boyd (front right in blue shirt) and his wife Christine (far left in blue dress) who is a direct descendent of Billy Marshall the famous Galloway tinkler gypsie featured in the Stewartry Museum. They run a shop in Wanganui specialising in Scottish collectibles and Neil has accumulated an amazing collection of Burnsiana and has been the driving force behind the formation of the Burns Club and its membership of the Federation.
Pat and I were gift with a beautiful wooden tray and spoons as a memento of our visit made by Ian Henderson a teacher of woodcraft at a College in Wanganui.