The Cape Town Burns Supper Club turns a quarter of a century old on 9 February 2019 and will celebrate the milestone with a Burns Night gala dinner and, for the first time – a ceilidh (Scottish traditional dancing) at the Kelvin Grove Club.
The biggest Burns Night celebration in Africa, the annual event toasts the life and works of Scotland’s National Bard, Robbie Burns (1759-1796).
More than 222 years later, Burns continues to be acknowledged and respected as an international literature icon who stood for equality and social justice. He was also renown for his wit and the ability to enjoy copious amounts of the ‘water of life’, which many a guest will no doubt attempt to match, as there will be toasts aplenty this year – including one to the Haggis.
Scottish hospitality on a grand scale
This is Scottish hospitality on a grand scale and a great opportunity to don the tartan and for the ladies, to dress up in their finest evening wear. There is always much fun to be had at a Burns Night and the 25th Burns Night Supper event will be no different.
Fair warning for those attending for the first time – the innuendo-loaded roasting given in the toast to the ‘lassies’ and the corresponding rejoinder have been known to provoke some strong laughter, as well as a serious discussion or two.
British High Commissioner, Nigel Casey, will once again address the ‘lassies’, while the organisers will shortly announce who the lucky lady is who will have the pleasure of replying. MC for the night, Guy McDonald will be on hand to referee.
To get proceedings off to a great start and get the toes tapping will be the drums and pipes of the Cape Town Highlanders Pipe Band, who will pipe the guests into the Ballroom, having paraded around the grounds first. The pipes set the scene for the Ceol Mor Ceilidh band who will lead the revellers in the dance later in the evening, with guests encouraged to join in the ceilidhs and storytelling.
Typically in Cape Town there is an African twist, and event director, Scots-born Claire Alexander, adds: “Cape Town Burns Night is a unique celebration of Robert Burns, the spirit of Scottish culture and the ever-strong fundamental links between Scotland and South Africa.
“Over the years, Dinner guests have evolved from a purely Scottish crowd to an event which in 2018, welcomed 15 different nationalities to Burns Night and the evening had a younger feel, with a distinctly Mother City heartbeat. It’s remarkable how one man’s words have created an immortal legacy of kindness and unity.”
Larger than life
Burns died aged 37. In that time he racked up an impressive collection of works, many of which continue to inspire and some, immortalised, especially Auld Lang Syne and the poem Timrous Wee Beastie.
Burns was a larger than life character and, in many respects, the socio-political commentator of his time, reporting on the issues of the day, and, standing up for women’s rights long before the Suffragette movement. His humanitarian resolve is carried on through the Cape Town Burns Supper Club’s charitable endeavours. An auction will be held to raise funds for several organisations.
What: Cape Town Burns Supper Club
When: Saturday, 9 February 2019, 6pm – 11.30pm
Where: Kelvin Grove Club Cape Town
Burns Supper Club tickets: R660 – 3-course meal, complementary whisky, dancing, entertainment
Dress code: Formal Tartan, eveningwear
To ‘tak a cup o kindness yet’ or info: Claire email@example.com, 076 835 3509
Burns Night Web: www.burnsnight.co.za