AYR Burns Club gathered on July 22 to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Scotland’s, and Ayrshire’s, poet, Robert Burns who died on July 21, 1796, and what a gathering it was.

Joining them at Burns Statue Square, Ayr were a host of Kindred Spirits, local dignitaries, Burns Club Presidents and Representatives and honoured club members and friends. 

After a warm welcome from Ayr Burns Club President, Dr. Robertson McMahon, immediate Past President Mrs. Kathleen Davey asked South Ayrshire’s First Citizen, Provost Helen Moonie, to say a few words followed by our local MP, Bill Grant. MSP John Scott also said a few enlightening words

Pipe Major Gary Thomson played slow airs as the first wreath was presented by Provost Moonie followed by Ayr Burns Club President, Robbie McMahon.  

Wreaths and floral tributes were also presented by the Robert Burns World Federation President, Ian McIntyre, the Ayrshire Association of Burns Clubs President John Campbell, MP Bill Grant, MSP John Scott, Alloway President Andy Moynaghan, Dalry Vice Chairman Jim Clark, Glasgow Haggis Club Representative Marc Sherland, Irvine Lasses President Margaret Greenlees, Kilmarnock No. 0 President Ian Capstick, Kilmarnock Howf President Lawry Hedley, Largs President Joe McGintly, Prestwick Representative Alexander Murdoch and General Meta of India Representative  Alex McKenzie.  Floral tributes were also presented by South Ayrshire Councillors Chris Cullen, Peter Henderson and Ian Davis and by Ayr Burns Club Members and Guests.

The final tribute by Kathleen Davey was on behalf of the new, Ayr Burns Club International No. 1 Missouri Ozark Mountains. Ayr Burns Club are honoured to welcome our kindred spirits of Missouri Ozark Mountains into our fellowship.

Everyone gathered immediately afterwards at the Kylestrome Hotel, Ayr to enjoy a light lunch, refreshments and tales of Burns. Robbie McMahon introduced Bill Grant, who read an obituary first printed in the Glasgow Mercury on the 23rd July 1796.

He said: “On the 21st instant died at Dumfries, after a lingering illness, the celebrated Robert Burns.  

“His poetical compositions, distinguished equally by the force of native humour, by the warmth and tenderness of passion, and by the glowing touches of a descriptive pencil, will remain a lasting monument of the vigour and the versatility of a mind only guided by the lights of nature and the inspirations of genius.  

“The public, to whose amusement he has so largely contributed, will learn with regret that his extraordinary endowments were accompanied with frailties which render them useless to himself or his family.  

“The last months of his short life were spent on sickness; and his widow with five infant children and in the hourly expectation of a sixth is now left without any resource but what she may hope from the regard due to the memory of her husband”.

The vote of thanks was given by Ayr Burns Club Vice President, Gordon Wilson who gave a hearty and sincere thanks to all of our honoured guests and club members for making today a resounding tribute to our National Bard, Robert Burns.