Special Burns event at Glenbervie

Pupils of Primary 5 / 6 Glenbervie school, with Dave Ramsay back left, and Ms Houston, class teacher, back right
Pupils of Primary 5 / 6 Glenbervie school, with Dave Ramsay back left, and Ms Houston, class teacher, back right

On Friday November 11, a special commemorative event will take place at the graves of the forefathers of Robert Burns, in Glenbervie Kirkyard.

A commemorative address will be given by Bobby Kane, World President of the Robert Burns Federation, where he will pay tribute to the ancestors of Burns, but in particular to William Burnes, the Father of the Bard, who was born at Clochnahill, in the parish of Dunnottar in 1721.

As a young man William Burnes left Kincardineshire and made his way to Edinburgh and then on to Alloway, where he leased a few acres of land and built a house with his own hands, which is known across the world today as Burn’s cottage.

After he married Agnes Brown, this house became their home, and on the 25th of January 1759, their son Robert Burns was born. The rest is history.

The World President will also meet the pupils and staff of Glenbervie school for lunch and present the school with “The Father of the Bard” trophy, an engraved silver quaich, which will be presented for the best Burns recitation during the forthcoming Burns school event in January.

Pupils will lay four roses at the grave site, to the memory of William Burnes, the Father of the Bard, Robert Burns, the ancestors of Burns in the Mearns, and to Lawrence Burness, himself a direct descendant of Burns, who produced the definitive genealogical charts of the descendants of the family of Robert Burns.

Glenbervie pupils, along with Bervie school and Auchenbale are currently working on the major Cutty Sark Museum Project, and Glenbervie school are researching and developing material to link the themes of Burns, Tam o’ Shanter, Cutty Sark designer Hercules Linton, and William Burnes, the Father of the Bard.

The Project is managed across the three schools, by Mearns Heritage Services, and Project Director Dave Ramsay said, “Staff, pupils, and myself will be delighted to welcome the World President to Glenbervie, to make this an occasion to celebrate the real Kincardineshire connections with Robert Burns, and the date has been chosen specifically to commemorate the birth of William Burnes on 11th November 1721. “The enthusiasm which staff and pupils have brought to this Project quite remarkable and we have one unique element which will make this Project doubly interesting this time, as we have one pupil in the class who is a direct descendant of Robert Burns.”

To follow on the day’s events, an evening dinner has been arranged, with all the Presidents of the local Burns clubs in Angus and the Mearns, and will focus on a discussion about how to promote a Burns Heritage Trail as a tourist attraction throughout the Mearns.

A solo piper will play a pibroch in Glenbervie Kirkyard, as a mark of respect for Armistice day, on this significant date.