The annual Robert Burns dinner at The Hub served traditional Scottish fare for Stettler and area residents on Saturday, Jan. 21 with Teresa Fisher and family orchestrating the event.
Having hosted it for more than 20 years in the community, Fisher has brought in a few changes, but mostly kept it a simple, traditional evening.
“Rabbie Burns night is celebrated in over 200 countries around the world and we keep the basic program fairly consistent, but however there are variations in how the various segments of the program are presented,” Fisher said. “We have added Scottish country dancing to the mix and are fortunate to have a very talented group of highland dancers from the studio of Rhonda McCulloch Danceology perform each year.”
Born in Scotland originally, Fisher moved to Canada in 1960 and has always been interested in learning about other cultures and traditions.
“I enjoy hosting the Rabbie Burns celebration to share some of my heritage and traditions with those that are interested,” Fisher added.
With Brenda’s Country Catering serving up the fare this year, the menu was the very traditional haggis, roast beef, champit tatties, bashed neeps and veggies, along with salad and other condiments.
The evening started with cocktails and at around 7 p.m., pipers Michael and Marion McLetchie filled the air with music, which was followed by ‘Pipe in the Head Table’ and a singing of “O Canada.”
After “Pipe in the Haggis,” with haggis bearer being Joseph Kelly, the community witnessed the “Address to the Haggis” by Michael McLetchie.
Tom Fisher oversaw the entire event with his mother, Teresa Fisher and Laurence Fisher read out the Selkirk Grace that went: “Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae the Lord be thankit.”
Even though the event was hosted at the Stettler Community Hall last year, this year the venue was changed to accommodate the “changing size of the crowd.”
“We wanted everyone to have a good time and also stay within our budget,” Fisher said. “For the evening the Hub was a fantastic venue!”
The community attendance well exceeded expectations as 105 people came in to participate and celebrate the Scottish poet.
All profits from the event will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.
“We chose the Alzheimer’s Society because a close family member is suffering with the disease and there is not a lot of fundraising for the society at this time,” Fisher added. “A big shout out to all the volunteers – without their hard work, this event would not be possible! We look forward to seeing everyone back again next year!”