Ardnamurchan visited by Souters once more

THE links between Selkirk and the remote Highland community of Ardnamurchan were further strengthened at the beginning of February, when a 28-strong party from Selkirk and the surrounding area travelled north to attend the annual Ardnamurchan Burns Supper.

Staged in the Kilchoan Community Centre, the event proved another outstanding success. Guest chairman was Selkirk’s Kenneth ‘Skip’ Houston, and the ‘Immortal Memory’ was proposed humorously and with great erudition by John Nichol, Selkirk’s much-loved writer, musician, actor and raconteur. The traditional fair also included award winning Haggis all the way from local butchers J. A. Waters and Sons.

The Selkirk Grace was said by ex-“Southern Reporter” editor John Smail, while the haggis was piped into the hall by well-known Selkirk businessman Cameron Cochrane, being addressed in fine style by ex-Selkirk Provost Les Millar.

A passionate rendition of “Tam O’ Shanter” was given by Hawick’s Michael Aitken, with John Nichol bringing the house down with his recital of “Poor Maillie’s Elegy”.

The toast to the Lasses was proposed by Selkirk’s Neil Purves, with suitable reply being made by Ardnamurchan resident Jane Muirhead.

Throughout the evening songs and recitations were given by Katie Stafford, Arnold Henderson, Alistair Lindsay, Dixie Scott, Michael Aitken, Jimmy Feeney and Bernie Armstrong.

The close connection between Selkirk and Ardnamurchan came into being over 20 years ago, when local joiner Alan Tough was commissioned to build a house on the Highland peninsula. Since then Alan’s company has been involved in numerous construction projects in the Highland locale, with the annual Burns Supper a chance for both communities to celebrate their special bond.

Top table guests at the Ardnamurchan Burns supper. From left – Cameron Cochrane, John Smail, Jane Muirhead, Neil Purves, Skip Houston, Michael Aitken and John Nichol.