Members and friends of the Burns Howff Club assembled in the Globe Inn for their traditional Hallowe’en Supper.
They were welcomed by president Colin Gibson whose first task was to firmly banish any ghosts or vampires thought to be abroad on that date.
Guest speaker Jim Brown, from New Cumnock, regaled the company with a witty and informative talk on the origins and customs of All Hallow’s Eve, the ancient celtic festival of Samhuinn which had pagan roots and featured the worship of the dead until it was Christianised by the early church which introduced the practice of lighting candles on the graves of the dead.
Hallowe’en gave rise to the American custom of trick-or-treat by children on October 31 and the Scottish equivalent of guising, when youngsters would visit house in disguise and receive fruit or small gifts in return for a song or recitation, well described by Robert Burns in his epic poem Hallowe’en.
Mr Brown, a former secretary of New Cumnock Burns Club and noted authority on the poet, was thanked by the president and accepted an inscribed tankard.
Contributing to a stellar entertainment programme was Leonard Brown on the accordion with an eclectic selection. He brought the house down with hitherto unsuspected humour and finished to thunderous applause.
Also appearing was past-president David Miller with a droll recitation of Holy Willie’s Prayer, complete with Ayrshire’s Jim Brown in full flow at the Howff club’s Hallowe’en Supper
candle and goonie, while past-president John Caskie put his rich tenor voice to use with songs old and new.
Award-winning Burns’ reciter Bobby Jess demonstrated his prowess with a performance of the Address to the Deil,
the poet’s satirical farewell to Auld Nick.
A comprehensive vote of thanks by junior vice-president Rab Walker, followed by a raucous rendition of Auld Lang Syne, brought a particularly enjoyable evening to an end.