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Burns 100th Celebration

Chronicle of the hundredth birthday of Robert Burns By James Ballantine  Extract courtesy of Google Books

CARLUKE Jan 25 1859.—The centenary of the birth of Burns was celebrated here by a public supper and ball, on the evening of the 25th. The supper took place in the hall of the Black Bull Inn, at six o'clock.

The hall was beautifully decorated with evergreens, typical of the unfading memory of Burns. T. Matthews, Esq., banker, filled the chair, supported on the right by Mr. Fraser, teacher, Carluke; and on the left by J. Barr, Esq., Law. The duties of croupier were discharged by Mr. Fraser, teacher, Dalserf. About eighty gentlemen were present. After the party had done justice to an excellent supper, served in Mr. Cassel's best style, the usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and responded to, one was drunk in silence to the memory of the immortal bard, and others of friendly sentiment met with cordial responses; such as " The Poets of Great Britain and Ireland," by Mr. Fraser, Dalserf; " The inhabitants of Carluke," by Mr. Barr; " The peasantry of Scotland," by Mr. Fraser, Carluke; a toast to the "Wives and Sweethearts of Carluke," and a cheer to those who had neither. " The Landed Interests," by Mr. Fraser, Carluke, replied to by J. Reid, Esq.; " The Iron and Coal Trade," from the chair, replied to by Mr. Barr, &c, &c. Mr. Fraser, of Dalserf, gave an excellent address on the " Life and Writings of Burns," in which the qualities of the poet's genius were impartially and ably discussed. A recitation, " The Patriot Tells Speech," was eloquently delivered by Mr. Andrew Wilson. A number of Burns best songs were sung by Messrs. Johnston, Thomson, Gilchrist, Lindsay, Fraser, and others. Votes of thanks were awarded the committee, and Mr. Matthews, for his active services in the chair, when the party separated at half-past nine, to join their better halves (real and intended), and re-assemble for the ball, which was held in the Parochial School-room, where they danced in mirth and glee till three o'clock next morning, when they parted in the best of order, much delighted with tho whole proceedings. We learn that the proceeds of tho entertainment are to be presented to Mrs. Thomson, of Pollockshaws, sister of the poet.

In honour of Burns, tho Brethren of the Carluke St. John's Lodge, No. 187, commemorated the event by a supper in the Black Bull Inn. Every due honour and respect was paid to the name and memory of the bard, as a brother of the mystic tie; but for want of particulars we cannot give details. A subscription was entered into by the lodge, the proceeds of which will be forwarded to Mrs. Thomson.


CARNWATH.—The Burns centenary was celebrated with an amount of enthusiasm rarely witnessed in the parish. The Masons' Hall, the largest building in the village, was crowded to suffocation, and hundreds who were anxious to be present had to bo denied admittance, from want of accommodation.

Dr. Wilson, of Westsidewood, presided, supported on the right and left by John Jackson, Esq., of Hall Hill; James Logan, Esq., of Eastshield; Mr. French, Park; Dr. Paterson, Carnwath ; Messrs. Nimmo and Watson, Carnwath ; Mr. French, Lampits; &c., &c.

The meeting was eloquently addressed by Mr. Dymock, who gave a sketch of the life of Burns; Mr. Nimmo, who told some amusing anecdotes of Burns, and of his journey through the parish and upper ward on his way to Edinburgh; Mr. Russell, on the writings of Burns; and by the Chairman, who proposed " The Immortal Memory of Scotland's greatest son, the ploughman poet Burns," which was responded to with a perfect storm of enthusiasm. The Chairman, in his speech, gave a short sketch of the poetic art from the most ancient times down to the days of Burns. He then referred to the power and influence of poetry in moulding tho human mind, as exemplified in all ages, and so beautifully expressed by Pollok—

" He touched his harp, and nations heard entranced,
As some vast river of unfailing source;
Rapid, exhaustless, deep his numbers flowed,
And oped new fountains in the human heart;"


and wound up a most eloquent address by special reference to the magic power and influence of the genius of Burns—who, as the child of Nature, sympathised with her in all her moods—whose heart danced with the merry dancing sunbeams, or leapt for joy amid the wildness of the winter's blast; who sung in strains of sweetest melody tho language of Nature—a language known and understood by men of all ages and of every clime, and in songs which will last as long as time exists, moulding the mind of man to higher aims and nobler aspirations.

The meeting was enlivened in the interval between the speeches with songs and music from an instrumental band; and altogether it was a most successful oue, notwithstanding the discomfort from overcrowding, every one being glad at having an opportunity of paying respect to the memory of the great departed.

 

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