Pipes and Haggis in Edgartown

Betty Immelt presiding over Scottish dolls at the annual Robert Burns Nicht at the Harbor View. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Ay. A good time was had by all at the 27th Burns Nicht Supper at the Harbor View Hotel and Resort in Edgartown Friday night. More than 100 Islanders of Scottish and many other backgrounds attended the annual party in honor of the Scottish poet’s January 25 birthday. Had Scotland’s favorite son himself been there, he’d have celebrated his 255th birthday.

The evening’s programme explained the purpose and history of the event, which dates back to the late 18th century:  “The Burns Nicht recalls the life and and influence of Robert Burns through music, traditional toasts, and a keynote address that is the cornerstone of all Burns Nichts, ‘The Immortal Memory.’ The basic format for this evening has remained unchanged when in 1796 nine friends gathered in an Alloway cottage, the bard’s birthplace, to pay tribute to his memory.”

Scottish Society vice president Steve Ewing was the Master of Ceremonies; Piper Tony Peak led the procession of the Haggis, which was prepared by Chef Nathan Gould of the Harbor View and presented by Sous Chef Marco Porllex. Alan Reekie did the “Ode Tae a Haggis,” Pastor Richard Rego gave the Selkirk Grace.

There was no shortage of toasts: Elizabeth Villard gave the toast to Robert Burns; Warren Hartwell gave the toast to Scots Around the World (followed by singing of Loch Lomond). Peter Wells toasted President Barack Obama (followed by the singing of Star-Spangled Banner) and Alan Renfrew toasted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (followed by the singing of God Save the Queen).

The Internationally Acclaimed Scottish Society Singers, under the direction of Phil

Dietterich, performed a variety of songs — including songs for the Lassies and Laddies, Flower of Scotland, Loch Lomond, Auld Lang Syne, Red Red Rose, and Comin’ Thro’ The Rye.

Piper Tony Peak concluded the evening with Amazing Grace.