Sea Cadets hold Burns Night Dinner celebrating Scotland’s famous son

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Sea Cadet Corps and its parent organization The Manitoulin Navy League have come up with an event to brighten the dark days of late January: a Burns Night Dinner, the traditional celebration of the birthday of Scotland’s most famous son and beloved poet, Robbie Burns.

The Robbie Burns Dinner event is scheduled for Saturday, January 24, 2015 and will be held in the upstairs hall of The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177 on Vankoughnet Street in Little Current.

Burns Dinners are a worldwide phenomenon and all follow the same traditions: the haggis arrives to the skirl of bagpipes and Burns’ Ode To The Haggis is recited in broad Scots dialect.

There are traditional toasts and responses and the catered dinner (also traditional fare) is formally served: roast beef, tatties and neeps (potatoes and turnips), a nice dessert and a taste of haggis. Chef Don Cook will cater the meal.

This is a fundraising event for the Manitoulin Sea Cadet Corps, but it is also a way for the Corps and the Navy League to give back to the community.

Tickets are affordably priced at $30 and will make excellent Christmas gifts. They can be purchased in downtown Little Current at the Expositor Office and at Breakaway Sports and also at The Recorder Office in Gore Bay. You may also reserve your tickets by calling (705) 368-3718, (please leave a message and you’ll be called back).

Carmen Laidley, a member of the Navy League board and former Commanding Officer of the Sea Cadets Corps notes that, “we thought that, just about that time when the days are long and the excitement of Christmas is a month behind us and there is still a lot of winter ahead, wouldn’t it be nice to have a nice diversion like a Burns Dinner!” And so it will be.

The Navy League is also organizing a silent auction of one-of-a-kind items and there will be the possibility of tasting some fine Scotch whiskeys (for a small fee, of course).

The Manitoulin Sea Cadet Corps, now in its eleventh year as a stand-alone organization, is moving from strength to strength as the newly-inaugurated band program is proving to be immensely popular with 20 cadets (two-thirds of the entire group) wanting to learn an instrument. The Island Sea Cadets are also maintaining their record as the championship crack shots in competition with their peers.