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24th Burns Night

Celebrating the life and works of Scotland’s National Bard, Robbie Burns – an international literature icon synonymous with equality and social justice – the Cape Town Burns Supper Club will host its 24th annual event on 10th February 2018.  This, the biggest and best Burns Night celebration in Africa, is always a glamorous and vibrant affair and welcomes everyone in true Scottish spirit. Taking place at Kelvin Grove Club this year, guests will remember and revel in the good name of Burns, and will raise money for deserving local causes.

As with all Burns Night celebrations across the world, the Cape Town event presents the traditional Burns Night line-up of Scottish culture and festivities, but, with an African twist.  This most definitely includes the pre-requisite that festivities must be ‘fun’.  Guests clad in best bib and tucker, beaming in tartan kilts and sashes, are piped into the main ballroom by the Drums & Pipes of the Cape Town Highlanders Pipe Band, following which, a number of toasts (with whisky of course) and entertainment interludes are held against the backdrop of a three-course meal that also includes the Haggis.

For first timers, it is best to know in advance that the tongue in cheek toast to the lassies and the lassies response to the laddies, is a traditional ‘send-up’ of the genders and always said in good jest – poking fun at those closest is a Scottish form of endearment, reminding us all that we should not always take life too seriously. A lesson we in South Africa perhaps need more now than ever before.

While the proud Scot passed some 222 years ago, (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), the poet’s legacy continues to thrive, on every corner of the globe, and in Cape Town, it’s no different. Immortalised in timeless works such as ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and ‘Tam O Shanter’, not forgetting the beautifully named poem, “Timrous Wee Beastie”, Burns used his storytelling to highlight the mood and current affairs of the time, which are still pertinent today.  Poetry remains an important tool for capturing universal emotions and current narratives, but it is Burns’ tenacity for social justice, his love for the strength of women and his wish for all to ‘tak a cup o kindness yet’ – that the Cape Town Burns Supper Club holds in high esteem.

As such, the event will support the Sarah Fox Children’s Hospital for under-fives needing palliative care or with terminal illnesses, Christine Revell Children’s Home for youngsters from abusive or broken homes and iKhaya Loxolo Lase, a shelter for abandoned and terminally ill people in Gugulethu, that will benefit from every cent generated through the evening’s auction.  In the past, items such as international holidays, artwork, collectibles and investment pieces, home and personal make-over and similar have contributed to the monies.  In 2018, the organisers are hoping to double the difference made and are calling for items to be donated and those with generous pockets to join the fun.

Proudly sponsored by: Hendricks Gin, Monkey Shoulder, Staghorn and Firecracker.