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Toast of the haggis, toast to the lassies ‘and some music as well’ – The Burns Virtual Supper

LISTEN: Donald Isles and Peter Barr share their plans for the Burns virtual supper

The Blair Atholl and Struan Initiative is holding a virtual burns supper night to keep the festivity going this year and help raise funds for a local cause.

Keeping the community spirit alive, the initiative is hosting the supper to help raise money to renovate the local sports court ‘which is nearing the end of its life.’

Sectary and Treasurer, Donald Isles, said: “We’ve got all the usual parts of the event, toast of the haggis, in mortal memory, Tam O’ Shanter, toast to the lads and lassies and some music as well.

“And we’re inviting people to apply to join us, the haggis itself you’ll have to provide yourself. We’re just relying on people to have their own.”

Looking at how the initiative could raise funds, the team decided that the virtual supper would be a good way of keeping the community connected for what is usually a regular event.

Peter Barr, member of initiative, explained: “The reason we decided to do it is because traditionally it’s done in the Killiecrankie village hall and clearly the COVID restrictions prevent us from doing it in the hall this year.

“So, it was taken up by the Blair Atholl and Struan initiative to keep the ball going, so to speak, in these difficult times.”

Mr Isles explained that the few activities which are happening are very formal events with local groups organising themselves as opposed to the social gatherings which would usually take place.

He said: “There are very few things that the community can join in like this, what meetings there are tend to be groups that are organising things.

“And this is an open event that anyone can join in, and it’s some entertainment which is not readily provided in this area unless you tune into the radio or television, so it’s just something different involving local people.”

The funding is going towards replacing the surface of the sports court which Mr Isles hopes will be replaced in the coming future.

He said: “Well in the next few years we’re going to have to replace the surface of our outdoors sports court because it’s now twenty years old and it’s getting to the end of its life.

“So that will cost us probably about twenty-five thousand pounds to do, when we have to do it.

“So we’re just starting specific fundraising for that now in the hope that by the time we get to needing it we will have raised some more money.”

In setting up the night, Peter Barr explained that they wanted to keep the energy for the supper alive even though we can’t meet up in person.

He said: “We decided that the burns supper would be a good idea because it’s replacing something that’s become popular in the area.

“We just felt it would be a pity to lose that link to the event which happens annually.

“And there are two or three people taking part who are part of the Killiecrankie hall committee who are involved in this event, as they would have been had it been in the hall.”

The supper is starting at &pm tomorrow night (Saturday 23 January), with a ticket price of £5 per household.

To get in touch, interested parties can email Mr Isles on: deisles@aol.com

Alternatively, a booking can be made by phoning Mr Isles on: 01796 481 663

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