Jan. 25 is the birthday of famous Scottish poet Robbie Burns.
He, as the first, lent dignity to dialects of common men speaking plainly. He set the example for writers all over the world.
From the lack of publicity it appears that no formal celebration is planned by our local communities. For shame!
Other years may have seen declining attendance, yet with all the formalities observed, gaily or solemnly as traditions demand. In fact, Robbie Burns Day is one of the classier events during these days of darkness, a sparkle of colours, highland dances, speeches to lassies and lads, toasts.
Fun. But apparently not to be observed this year.
Not by Cumberland, Comox or Courtenay, not by any of the Legions there, not by the Celtic Club(s), nor by any other organized society.
And yet Courtenay hosts the Highland Games, one of summer’s highlights. The Valley can boast of excellent pipe bands and Scottish dancers. Albion ancestry is kept alive by streets named Dunsmuir, McLeod, McKenzie, McPhee, McLaughlin, MacIntyre.
Yet the Valley is ready to forgo an event worthy of celebration, quaint revelry featuring the Selkirk Grace, haggis, champit tatties, bashed neeps, sprigs of heather, Sgian Dubhs crests, sporrans. Tartans with pins, flashes, buckles. Pipers playing Road to the Isles, Scots Wha Hae, Auld Lang Syne. Difficult to fathom.
If the explanation is to be found in earlier detrimental competition for attendees by each municipality — none getting enough to pay expenses — this surely can be overcome by joining in making common cause. As might well have been the case had the Valley been under one authority.
“Go fetch to me a pint o’ wine an’ fill it in a silver tassie.”
Just not here. Shame!