An evening with Robert Burns

On Monday 25 January, Scotland's favourite poet, Robert Burns, was celebrated, quoted, and toasted in a night of musical performances, poetry readings, and Scottish themed treats (including  Haggis Mac n' Cheese and whisky!). Foundation cafe at Tūranga was abuzz in a special celebration of the world's 220th Burns Night.

Richard (the incredible bagpipe director at St Andrews College), began the evening by piping in the performers, a fitting start to a truly memorable and moving night.

Our fun, unflappable MC, Ray Shipley, went on to introduce a series of beautiful readings written by and inspired by Burns - there was Hugh (with ‘Selkirk Grace’ and ‘Address to a Haggis’), Fiona (with ‘To a Louse’), Mike (with ‘A Burl for Burns’), Claudine (with ‘A Man’s a Man for A' That), and the wonderful Christchurch based poet Erik Kennedy (with 'To a Mouse').

Our Māori services team also movingly shared poetry from their own languages - Maia (Te Reo) Tiresa (Pasifika) and Lulette (Tagalog). 

The evening was made even more special by Emma Johnston and Renee Julian (vocals), Nicole Reddington (cello), and Hugh Campbell (guitar), who blew everyone away with their amazing performances of ‘Brose and Butter’, ‘A Man’s a Man for A’ That’, and ‘Black is the Colour of My True Loves Hair’. The evening was rounded off by a wonderful Open mic segment, a challenging Burns Night quiz, and lastly a very moving rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne' (there were tears!)

If you'd like to know more about Robert Burns, check out this post or have a look at the resources by and about Burns on our catalogue.

See more photos from this event in our Flickr album

Nicole Reddington, Emma Johnston and Hugh Campbell, Burns Nigh