Valley of Lincoln Celebrates Robert Burns Night

Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s most famous sons, is still celebrated for his poetry and music more than 220 years after his death at age 37 for his poetry and music. Born on January 25, 1759, Robert Burns’ birthday is celebrated around the world with dinner, music, poetry, and of course, haggis, the national dish of Scotland. The Lincoln Scottish Rite celebrated the Ploughman Poet on January 27th with the annual Burns Night dinner.

The evening was sponsored by the Lincoln Knights of St. Andrew (KSA). Herschel (32° KCCH) and Betty Talley served as the Robert Burns Night Chairs, welcoming nearly 100 guests for a great evening. The dinner began with cocktails in the museum and Scottish songs by Those Two, local musicians David Purdham and Julie Schumacher, Julie at Crete High School. Guests were piped to dinner by Dr. Jimmy Shelbourn and passed through a KSA Arch of Steel.

Guests mingled in the newly renovated Scottish Rite Great Hall, as the KSA served cocktails. A silent auction raised several hundred dollars for the RiteCare Speech and Language Clinic at the UNL Barkley Memorial Center, and silent auction items included Scottish ties, prints, antiques, Husker gear, and a bottle of excellent Glenmorangie Highland Scotch. The KSA also raffled a bottle of Macallan’s Scotch as a fundraiser. After a welcome by our emcee, Jerry Pigsley, 32°, Dr. Steve Lahey gave the Selkirk Grace and invocation. With bagpiper Dr. Jimmy Shelbourn, the Knights of St. Andrew piped in the guest of honor - the haggis. Dr. Lahey read Burns immortal Ode to a Haggis, stabbing the “Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race” with the assistance of Hersh and Betty’s grandchildren, Annaleis and Herschel Talley, IV.

Bob and Jennifer Kruse, Doug Krugman, Joni Bennett, and Bruce and Linda Wood prepared a fantastic dinner for the Robert Burns event, beginning with a vinaigrette salad, followed by flat iron steak, vegetables and roast potatoes, followed by iced cranachan, the national dessert of Scotland made from whipped cream, flavored with whiskey, honey and topped with raspberries and oats.

As a surprise, Jerry Piglsey called to the podium Joni Bennett and Linda Wood, who were honored with the Scottish Rite Excellence Award. Joni and Linda have donated literally hundreds of hours to the Valley cooking and serving at events, cleaning afterward, and tackling numerous projects around the building. The Valley was proud to recognize and honor Joni and Linda for all the work they do without any fanfare.

The traditional Toast to the Lassies was given by KSA Knight Master Andy Seachord, 32°. Not to be outdone by Andy, the Reply to the Laddies was given by his girlfriend Brooke Welsh. M.W. Richard Myers, Grand Master of Masons gave closing remarks for the evening, thanking the guests for allowing him to join the Valley as his last major event before his term as Grand Master ends the following Saturday. The evening closed with Those Two singing Scottish a medley of Scottish songs and leading the attendees in Auld Lang Syne.

The Robert Burns Dinner has grown to be the Valley of Lincoln Scottish Rite’s premier and largest event each year, and one not to miss. Mark your calendars for January 26, 2019 for the next Robert Burns Dinner!