Happy Birthday Robbie Burns

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 13:55 23/01/2014
Southland Times Photo
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
St Andrew's Scottish Society Southland chief Barbara Swain, left, committee member Rowena Batchem and senior chieftian Bruce McNaughton prepare for the 255th Burns Dinner this month.

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Haggis, not cake, will be on the menu as Southlanders help one man celebrate a significant milestone birthday this week.

Scottish expatriates, descendants and societies, including many in Southland, are preparing to mark poet Robbie Burns' 255th birthday on Saturday.

In Invercargill, St Andrew's Scottish Society Southland is hosting its annual Burns Dinner at the Scottish Hall.

Society chief Barbara Swain said the birthday dinner, which would include the traditional haggis party with bagpipers and standard bearers, was a big occasion.

''Imagine if you could have your birthdays remembered 255 years later, the world over,'' Mrs Swain said.

She hoped about 150 Southlanders would attend the dinner, which she believed was the southernmost Burns night in the world.

Tickets for the dinner cost $30, and are available by contacting Mrs Swain or Rowena Batchem.

Meanwhile in Riverton, former New Zealand poet laureate Cilla McQueen and former Invercargill poet Gary Elford will perform at a Pot Luck Poetry night on January 25.

The event, which will feature work by other community members, will be held at the Riverton Community Arts Centre.

Tickets cost $15.

Riverton Community Arts Centre gallery assistant Emma CoppinntsTnte encouraged people to bring a plate and friends to the evening.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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