BURNS NIGHT IN CHESTER. «|1904-01-27|The Chester Courant and Advertiser for North Wales - Welsh Newspapers Online
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BURNS NIGHT IN CHESTER. « GATHERING OF THE CLANS. The local Scots foregathered at the Grosvenor Hotel on Friday evening to do honour once more to the immortal memo ry of their national poet, Robert Burns, in time-honoured fashion. The Chester Caledonian Association, now nearing the attainment of its majority, has never bad a meeting equaIIingin success that of Fi-idayeveniiag, there being a record attendance of eighty members and friends, under the genial chairmanship of the President, Mr. J. R. Thomson. The company were played into the dining-room in spirited style by Hon. Piper A. MacDonald. The Archdeacon, at the President's request, said Burns's well-known poetical Grace before meat." The menu was, as usual, of a thorougly Scottish character, the piece de resistance being the inevitable haggis, which was ushered into the room amid great enthusiasm. The chef, bearing the "groaning trencher" in which the "great chieftain of the pudding race" reposed, was pre- ceded by the piper, and the pair marched round the room. A subtle joke underlay the incident, for the tune the piper played.was Whaur hae ye been a' the day, Bonnie laddie, Hielan' laddie ? and the solemn fact remained that the chef, the individual who evidently was referred to, happens to be a German. The celebrated poetical Address to a Haggis" was delivered by Mr. David Robertson with admirable unction. In the subsequent proceedings some exceedingly happy speeches were delivered, and good songs sung, and the height of patriotic fervour was reached, when Mr. Plant sang Scotland Yet and the toast was given with Highland honours one foot on the table, another on the chair, and all the company clinking glasses with theorthodox "a' the honours three. Unfortunately the framers of the programme bad been too optimistic in their arrangement of the toast-list, and although the proceedings, in accordance with magisterial sanction, lasted till the solemn midnight hour, sad to relate, three toasts were left unpledged. and four songs unsung, owing to the phenomenally fleeting nature of the evening. With this exception, the gathering was emphatically the most brillant eucceBS in the record of the Association's functions. Mr. J. R. Thomson (president of the association) occupied the chair, and the croupiers were Messrs. J. Gardner, R. T. Hunter, D. Robertson and T. D. Harley. Among those present were the Sheriff (Mr. D. L. Hewitt), the Archdeacon of Chester, the Rev. E. C. Lowndes, Drs. Roberts, Hamilton, Mann and Parry, Colonel Stafford, Major Lead- better, Colonel H. T. Brown, Me:ssr,3 J Cullimore, L. Booth S. A. James (postmaster) C. E. Bromley, G. Bonnalie, F. J. Bonnalie, C. Cooper J. H. Laybourne (Chief Constable) W. Leah (Depu,} Chief Constable of the county), J. Stirling, C.. f McGill, N. McGill, Alexander Hornby. It. Cecil Davies, F. Covenev, W. Ferguson. J. A McMiohael, Frank Dickson, R. Hill. Dr. Erie Hamilton, G. P. Miln, J. Simon, A. H. Christie, Webster, ithocles, Burners, Weights, Wildgoose. H. Ander- son, W. G. Lockwood, H. Crowder, W. D Laird, A. A. Ferguson, H. Jacks. W. A. Taylor, Billington, Hodge, R. Beck Moffat, J. Beck, Holliday, T. Todd, J. Laurie,' W. C. Armstrong, J. T. Miln, F. Sharpe, W. E. Thornhili, A. Knox, Williams, Jamieson, Robb. McLeod. Walter Fergusson (hon. secretary), etc. Apologies for absence were re- ceived from the Mayor, Mr. Robert Yerburgh, M.P., Mr. B. C. Roberts, Mr. Gibbons'Frost, Dr. Duff. &c. After an excellent dinner, The Chairman proposed The King and Royal Family." He alluded to the excellent results of his Majesty's recent visit to the Continent, and spoke of e the tact, courtesy and good commonsense which made those visits such absolute successes. He also referred to the King s visit to Ireland at a time when the people of that country were gratified by the Land Act.. T -âi Mr. S. A. James gave His Majesty s Imperial Forces," remarking that it seemed to be a necessity of the times to have a standing Army, as there was a saying that this country was alwavs engaged in some war or another. That certainly held good at the present moment. Whereevcr our soldiers and sailors were engaged, they always gave an excellent account of themselves. Lieut.-Colonel Stafford, in responding, said the term Imperial Forces comprised a great deal- the Navy, Army. Militia, Reserves, Volunteers, Yeomanry, and last, but not least in importance, our Colonial forces. The Navy had not been tested in actual warfare for many years, and if it should be they might find defects which always came out in times of war; but he was confident they would find the personnel-officers and men- as magnificent as they had always been. (Ap- plause.) They would, no doubt, hear a good oeaJ of the War Commission report during the next session of Parliament, but he was afraid that each political party, in their anxiety to make a point would overlook the main interests, the material interests of the report. Surely the time had now gone for the ArmV to be the sport of political parties (Hear, hear.) Was it not a fact that a Government which happened to be in power for the time being had tried to do their duty by placing the Army in a state of efficiency, and when their place came to be taken by the party opposite they ha# undone all that their pre- decessors had tried to do? They should not be too ready to judge of the personnel of the Army from what they saw at home. The Army at home was merely a feeder or nursery for e abroad, and therefore he hoped they would not judge it by what they saw at stations like Chester, or even at military camps like Aldershot or t Curragh. It was in war time that our soldiers were seen to the best advantageâsay after Bloemfontein, or the reliefJof Ladysmith. T ey might not be much to look at not .c looking, out at elbows, and with their khaki worn to rags, but they were a magnificent force, well trained and thoroughly disciplined. (Hear, hear.) They would find the British soldier sober, uncom- plaining. cheerful and patient under all conditions and difficulties. Having got such a fine Army, the question was, what were they going to do with it? It was for the nation to say- an their duties without thought of what might iHdb? citizens should see that it was so, and that every- thing was done to secu?§ efficiency. (Applause.) Surg.-Lieut.-Colonel Hamilton responded for the Volunteers, and remarked that in these days every- one ought to learn to shoot straight. He was afraid the standard of recruits in the Volunteers was somewhat deteriorating, but hoped this would be remedied. Mr. H; T. Brown proposed' "The Bishop, Clergy, and Ministers of all Denominations." The Chester clergyâhe used the term in the most comprehen- sive wayâgave most valuable help in all social movements, whether it- was temperance, rescue work, or anything for the amelioration of the people. If that was true generally, it was particu- larly so in the case of education. The clergy had been the pioneers of education in this country Kpfnne it was made so. municipal or national mat- ter. In Chester there was not a single scholastic institution, either elementary or secondary, that did not owe its existence to the clergy. The two most important schools they hadâthe King's School and the Queen's Schoolâwere very much S indebted in their existing state to the clergy.The King's School almost owed its very existence in its present form to the late Dean Howson, while the Queen's School's existence was almost entirely due to the late Bishop Jacobson and the present Dean. The Blue Coat School was also indebted for its foundation to a Bishop of Chester. That having been the record of the Church in the past, thev looked most hopefully to their help in carry- ing on the work of education in the future. They knew that everybody was not. in love with the Education Act. There were some things in t which might press h £ ^d^tu^o^ ft SjUj. of their experience and sympathy, m older that the Act might be productive of the utmost good. He was glad to say that in Chester there was nothing ot that political rancour and religious bitterness which had been exhibited elsewhere. (Hear, hear.) The Education Committee were a perfectly happy family. He did not say they had no differences of opinionâthat would not be human, and they would be unworthy of their seats if they had notâ but they recognised and respected each others views, and worked harmoniously for the. accom- plishment of the end in view. (Applause.) The Rev. E. 0. Lowndes, in responding, said the clergy were always willing to. do anything they could to help anybody, whatever denomina- tion he belonged to and without any of the ulterior motives of proselytism, which they were so often credited with. They did not claim to possess all the virtues neither did they possess all the vices. On the question of education there were sharp divisions among them, but they were all agreed on one point, namely, that, they would do their best for the secular and religious wel- fare of the children of the country. (Applause.) The extremists were the stumbling block, and he believed that if all the extremists, of whatever political or religious creed, couia De jocnea up in an asylum or elsewhere for a short time, the edu- cation question would be speedily settled.* Laugh- ter and applause.) <<rn, T The Archdeacon of mortal Memory of B^?ification of fitness for the He disclaimed any his name in the Scotch office, as he nei a^uainted with the mysteries fashion nor was ne aoqu»* £ of haggisâ(laughter)âwhde his visits to the land o' cakes had been limited to two or three. The other day he came across a review of one or two volumes on "The History of British Literature," in which Robert Burns was classed with three other famous poets, and described as "natural and sincere." They would agree that none of them could wish for higher commendations than that. (Applause.) was marvellous that the life of one who so endeared himself to his countrymen, and whose memory was so enduring, should have been epcomPassed in the short space of 37 years. When they looked upon his life, and

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BURNS NIGHT IN CHESTER. «