Robert Burns Guild of Speakers

Robert Burns Guild of Speakers

The Robert Burns Guild of Speakers was set up last year to try and improve the standard of speaking at Burns Suppers.

This is an exclusive group - only 37 speakers ( all types, from all walks of life but united in their passion for Burns - all are talented speakers or performers).

Conservative politician Annabel Goldie is a member as is former criminal lawyer Len Murray (Dean of the Guild).

It is very prestigious to be invited - 37 is the age Burns was when he died. Alison was invited to join in May.

There is concern speakers are just getting up and doing their stuff with jokes from the Internet and very little mention of Burns himself and this group is aiming to address that and populate the many Burns Suppers that there are at home and abroad - with bona fide Guild members.

This means the standard can only improve - it's all been done with the approval and patronage of the World Burns Federation. So for me it is a major plus to be involved.

“The aims and objectives are to maintain and promote good standards of speaking in presentation of Robert Burns”

More About The Robert Burns Guild of Speakers

A group of Burns enthusiasts have decided to take positive action to rectify a matter of great concern to Burns supporters and many others. Despite a drop in the number of Burns Clubs around the world, there appears to be a year-on-year growth in Burns Suppers being held and that brings more opportunities and requirements for speakers.

Unfortunately, some speakers do a great disservice to Burns Clubs and other organisations who are hosting Burns Suppers. Mainly in a ‘Toast to the Lasses’ some misuse and, in turn, abuse or ignore the works of the Bard. This mindless minority link together an endless stream of offensive remarks laced with crude and rude language.

This reflects on the people who are holding the event and also the many thousands of people around the world who admire the wonderful legacy of Robert Burns.

The newly created Robert Burns Guild of Speakers, with Len Murray as the Dean of Guild, has already gained credence as a source for quality speakers. During January the Guild helped ten organisations by providing speakers and amongst them two major charity events.

The presence of Guild Members has been greatly appreciated and the money-raising of, in one case, £6500 and the other of £2500 makes the efforts very worthwhile. As reported in the article About Kilmarnock Prison, some Guild members even went behind bars in a good cause and, after a programme of a Burns supper and entertainment, were released!

Every member of the Guild pays an annual membership fee and the constitution specifies that the membership is limited to a symbolic 37. Each member is required to sign a personal undertaking to maintain a high standard of presentation and content at all times.

Membership is by invitation and nomination. A decision of the Executive Committee of the Guild was to nominate persons who were leading exponents of public speaking and the first person chosen for this was Annabel Goldie MSP.

An informal Lunch was held at Ralston Golf Club to present an appropriate certificate of recognition of maintaining high standards in public speaking and also for the promotion of Robert Burns. The Guild is now affiliated to the Federation with the status of a Burns Club and can be contacted through the Federation office.