Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st October 2022

Date of publication

1st December 2022


The Concert and Ceildh held in the Williamson Hall on Friday 22nd October 2010 was a great success and raised £1000 for the British Heart Foundation. Those present were entertained by the fiddles and accordions of Craig Paton and Friends.

The 2011 Burns Supper will be held on Saturday 5th February. All members will be notified in December.

  Merry Christmas and a Happy New year from the

                    Burns Club Committee  

JUNE 2011

The Club have booked the folk group Gaberlunzie to perform on Friday 2nd September 2011 in the Williamson Hall. Priority will be given to Burns Club members with any remaining tickets being made available to the General Public. Tickets are priced at £8.


The Williamson Hall has seen world famous artists before, Peter and Gordon to name but one, so Friday the 2nd of September in the hall was nothing new.

The hall was packed, standing room only with an atmosphere you could cut with a knife, the aroma of McEwans export wafted across the room with a hint of smokey bacon crisps. As the clock ticked nearer and nearer to 8pm the sweat trickled down my neck in anticipation of this world renowned Scottish folk group performing here.

The door burst open, the crowd went mad, Ga-bur-lun-zie, Ga-bur-lun-zie and onto the stage strolled the two gods of folk.

The hall was thumping with “The road and the miles to Dundee”, women were throwing their underwear at the stage, the bouncers were finding it difficult to keep the crowd under control and to stop them reaching the stage.

OK,OK, a slight exaggeration of how it went, but nonetheless it was a great night.

All profit made was donated to the Williamson Hall.

The next great night will be the annual Burns supper on Saturday 3rd February again in our village hall,

See you there.  

                                                  J Swan

MARCH 2012

Burns Supper February 4th

A queue was forming long before the doors were opened at 6.30pm, Ian Bett having to fight his way through to open up. The scent of haggis wafted through the open door tingling the taste buds of the waiting. Bottles of wine and whisky were being cracked open with glasses being filled to the rim with just enough room for the thinners. The piper James Rodger was getting warmed up in the anteroom standing between the ashette of neeps and the one of tatties, the steam warming up his cauld knees.

The top table guests were being welcomed and introduced to the club committee, itching to get going. The pipes began to skirl, the assembled crowd got to their feet to greet the haggis. The puddin was addressed by Ian Bett with great gusto “fair fa’ yir honest sonsie face great chieftain o the puddin-race"

A meal fit for a king was served starting with soup, the haggis and followed by trifle.

The Rev. Kenneth Shuttleworth from Tarbolton delivered the Immortal Memory with style and great humour to the enjoyment of the audience.

Jim Aitken from Newburgh entered the darkened hall with candle in hand dressed as Holy Willie.

A long and very enjoyable evening drew to an end with Auld Lang Syne ringing to the rafters Next year is the 10th anniversary, watch this space.

R.B. Urns


Following on from last years successful Gaberlunzie concert, The Burns Club of Abernethy has arranged another event with well known entertainer Eddie Rose. Eddie is coming along to the Williamson Hall on Saturday 13th October with some of his friends to entertain us. For over 40 years Eddie has taken his distinctive style of Scots comedy and music to venues all over Scotland as well as tours of Canada and America. Tickets priced £8 will first be offered to Club members and their guests, the surplus, if any, will be offered to non - members.

Last year the Williamson hall benefited from the proceeds of the concert, this year the Club will donate any profit to other local organisations. If your club or organisation wishes to be considered for a donation please contact Ian Bett on 850380 or by e-mail at bettlizbee@aol.com

Ian Bett


The Williamson Hall has seen many world famous performers over the years, Peter and Gordon and, and, and, to name just one.  

On the 24th of October another world famous  artist took to the boards up in Hall Park, Eddie Rose. This master of quick fire jokery and good old song and dance,  entertained a packed hall.

With glasses charged and pork scratchings in the china bowl, the crowd were poised for a great night of fun and laughter, they were not disappointed. The band struck up, the stage curtains flew open and the Scottish master of light entertainment strutted his stuff.For two hours there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Anyone wishing to be put on the waiting list for a membership to the club should contact Ian Bett 01738 850380.

MARCH 2013

On Saturday 2nd February the Burns Club held it’s 10th anniversary Burns supper in the Williamson Hall.

President Ian Cartwright welcomed everyone and the full house experienced first class entertainment and enjoyed an excellent meal. The haggis was piped in by James Rodger and carried by Poosie Nancy, the Selkirk Grace was given by Billy Folan. The haggis was addressed by Jack Blair from Bridge of Earn, who also performed Tam o Shanter. Liam Stewart from Galston in Ayrshire gave us the Immortal Memory. The Toast to the lassies was proposed by Jimmy Swan to which Susan Swan very aptly replied MC Ian Bett introduced musicians David Cuthbert, Dr David Kirkwood and Laura Kemp. The evening closed with song much merriment, and a vote of thanks from Jimmy Calderwood.

JUNE 2013

The club held it’s AGM on Thursday 11th April in The Cree’s Inn. A well attended meeting saw the following office bearers elected for  the year 2013 / 2014

President   Jimmy Swan

Vice President   Margaret Folan

Secretary    Ian Bett

Treasurer    Margaret Folan

Committee members:

Billy Folan, Brenda Calderwood, Margaret Mair,

Jimmy Caderwood and Gavin Davies

A full Annual General meeting then took place.

This years Burns supper was discussed along with

the plans for next year.

It was reported that the folk group Gaberlunzie had been booked to perform in the Williamson hall on Saturday 12.10.2013.

Further details will be published nearer the time.


The club held a very successful evening in October, hosting another evening with the Scots folk duo Gaberlunzie.

With a packed hall the assembled crowd enjoyed an evening of Scottish folk music and song.
The club is delighted to be able to give £500 to the very worthy Park Project.
The next Burns club event is the Burns supper in February.

MARCH 2014

The Burns Club Of Abernethy held its annual Burns Supper on Saturday 1st February in the Williamson Hall. A full house was in attendance with artists from a’ the airts.

Jimmy Swan, President, opened the evening welcoming all present. The Haggis was piped in by James Rodger and was addressed by Jim Aitken with his usual gusto. Peter Scott from Greenloaning was the proposer of the Toast to the Immortal memory of Robert Burns. Eva Sparreboom, from Holland, entertained the audience with some fine fiddling. Sandy MacKinnon toasted the Lassies and his wife Angela replied. One of the most entertaining moments is Tam O Shanter, this was performed by Jim Aitken. Kenneth MacIver entertained with some Burns songs ably accompanied by Edna Auld.

This year a donation will be given to the new Cub/Scout group.

Jimmy Swan

MARCH 2015


As well as competing in the Abernethy competition 10 year old primary 6 pupil Heather Rodger went on to take part in the Perth Burns Club`s school competition open to all schools in Perth and Kinross. As well as playing in the fiddle class Heather recited in the class for primary 6 and 7 year olds and from an entry of 12 won the Ruth Lumsden Quaich, receiving especially high praise from the adjudicator James Thomson, President of the Robert Burns World Federation . Mr Thomson encouraged the children to consider going on to take part in the national schools event, such was the high standard of performance he had witnessed at Perth, as good as anything he had experienced in 30 years of officiating at school competitions. Encouraging words not only for Heather but also for the other pupils who competed equally as well at our Abernethy event.

J.K. Bett


The judges had great difficulty this year in producing a result in the Burns Competition. The standard was so high and the challenge so great.

How many of us could recite, "without repetition, hesitation or deviation" (to quote from a well-known radio programme) “Address to the Haggis”? Primaries 6/7 in Abernethy can! The judges were Miss  W. Dobbie Mrs S. Rose and Mrs H. Clow. Mr I Bett,Secretary of Abernethy Burns Club and Mrs M. Folan were also present. The results were as follows
First             Alex Cook
Second        Lucy Jamieson
Third            Hamish McElnea
First             Ella McElnea
Second        Sam Donnachie
Third            Heather Rodger

Overall Winner
Ella McElnea who received the Shield.

A donation of £50 was given to the school from Abernethy Burns Club


On Saturday 7th February the Burns Club of Abernethy held it’s annual supper in the Williamson Hall. The assembled crowd of 95 enjoyed a lovely meal in very pleasing surroundings. The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns was proposed by Mr Hugh Farrell from Ayr followed by the story of Tam excellently portrayed by Willie Cameron from Oban. George Alexander from Perth Toasted the Lassies and his wife Linda Replied. Liam Bonthrone and Edna Auld’s songs got the Audience’s feet tapping. Margaret Folan, Vice President, closed the evening with the Vote of Thanks. A fantastic evening was had by all.

Jimmy Swan President

Burns Club of Abernethy

The AGM of the club will be held in the Mason’s hall on the 23rd April 2015 at 7.30pm. All welcome

JUNE 2015

On Thursday 23rd April, the AGM of the club was held in the Masonic Lodge.

The President Jimmy Swan gave a positive report on the past year and thanked all the members and office bearers for their support.

The annual account was presented to those present by the Treasurer Margaret Folan and was accepted. Ian Bett, Secretary, read out last years minutes, they were also accepted.

The election of office bearers for year 2016 took place.

President and Treasurer ...Margaret Folan

Vice President and Secretary ...Ian Bett

Past President ...Jimmy Swan

All other Committee members were re-elected on block.

Burns Supper 2016 will be held on Saturday 7th February.


The final arrangements are being made for the 2016 Burn’s supper. Members will be notified with all the details mid- December. The supper will be held on Saturday 6th February in the Williamson Hall.

Jimmy Swan

MARCH 2016


President Margaret Folan welcomed a capacity attendance to the 13th Annual Dinner of the club in the Williamson Hall. The Principal speaker was well known broadcaster and journalist Lesley Riddoch who paid a fitting tribute to the Bard in a thoughtful and amusing Immortal Memory. The Haggis carried by Susan Swan and piped in by James Rodger was then addressed by Jim Aitken who also gave further recitations during the evening. A most amusing toast to the Lassies was given by Jimmy Calderwood and equally well responded to by his daughter Gaye Taylor. The music and songs of the Bard were well catered for by fiddlers Eva Sparraboome and Sheona Greville-Sutherland and the fine voice of Jill Sutherland. Jimmy Swan gave an interesting insight into the family connection with the late Bobby Clow and Jenny Clow the maid of Agnes McIlhose aka Clarinda during Rabbie’s Edinburgh sojourn. Jenny was born in Newburgh before moving to Edinburgh and she had a love child to Burns. Family research has revealed that Bobby was the G.G.G.nephew of Burns. However the highlight of the evening for this writer was the recitation of Tam O` Shanter by Irene McFarlane from Kinross regarded as the best to have been heard at the club and Irene received a standing ovation for her rendition.

School Scottish verse competition

The club was pleased to be associated with this event when members Sally Rose and Wyn Dobbie adjudicated the various classes which were of a very high standard. By a very small margin the winner in the P6/7 class and the winner of the Burns Club of Abernethy Shield was Heather Rodger closely followed by Darcey Meek and Hector Buchanan. In P4/5  Daisy Smith came out on top followed closely by Alex Cook and Taylor McKay. Later in the day the pupils held their own Burns Supper entirely organised by themselves and President Margaret Folan and other club members were pleased to  attend and were served a fine meal by the pupils followed by some excellent entertainment. Well done to everyone concerned.

Heather Rodger followed up her success at Abernethy school by going on to further success at the Perth Burns Club Schools Festival open to all schools in Perth and Kinross where she won trophies  for her solo singing and solo verse, well done Heather. The club is hopeful that this interest and enthusiasm in the songs and poetry of not only Robert Burns but other Scottish poets will continue as they grow older and that they in turn will become Burns Club members of the future and if they do the future of the club will be in safe hands.

JUNE 2016


The Club held it's AGM in the Mason's Hall on Thursday 14th April 2016.

To a packed hall, with standing room only, Margaret Folan welcomed the excited crowd. Ian Bett then read out the AGM minutes from last year, they were duly proposed and seconded. President Folan reported on the past year as well as the 2016 Burn's supper. Treasurer Folan (same person) presented the financial situation of the club, the crowd went mad, the accounts were proposed and seconded.

Election of Office Bearers

President Margaret Folan
Secretary & Vice President Ian Bett
Treasurer Margaret Folan (same person)

Ordinary Members (but really not that ordinary)
Billy Folan (husband of President)
Jimmy Calderwood
Brenda Calderwood (wife of above, what does she see in him?)
Margaret Mair
Jimmy Swan
Gavin Davie (he has some letters after his name but I cannae mind what)
Pam Fyffe

The meeting agreed to donate £50 to Jim Aitken in support of his charity bike ride and £50 to the Xmas Tree Lights Appeal.

The meeting was closed and the assembled crowd had wine and shortbread.

See, if you had come along, you too could have had wine and shortie.


Congratulations to Heather Rodger for winning the Burns Club of Abernethy Shield for the best performance at Abernethy Primary School’s Scots Verse competition day. Heather then went on to compete in the Perth Burns Club Schools competition open to pupils within Perth and Kinross and there she won the Robert Donachy Quaich for solo singing and the Ruth Lumsden Quaich for solo verse speaking. This qualified Heather to go forward to the semi finals of the Burns Federation competition for Scotland at Falkirk, and there she won through to the Scottish Final for her solo singing. Although not in the prize winners in the final, Heather scored very high marks in a competition where competitors from all over Scotland compete to a very high standard and her experience will stand her in good stead if she decides to compete again next year. Very well done Heather.

Ian Bett, Secretary, Burns Club of Abernethy

The Burns Club of Abernethy presents GABERLUNZIE IN CONCERT.

To be held in the  Williamson Hall on Saturday 19th November at 7.30 p.m.

Tickets available from Ian Bett or any other club member.

Tickets £8

MARCH 2017

Burns Supper 2017

President Margaret Folan welcomed a company of 96 members, guests and artists to the Annual Dinner of the Burns Club of Abernethy  on Saturday 11th February. The company enjoyed a fine traditional Burns night meal with the haggis carried in by Susan Swan and  Addressed  in fine fashion by  Jim Aitken. An excellent toast to the Immortal Memory of the Bard was given by  Angus Middleton a past President of the Robert Burns World Federation.  Pete Wishart MP gave a witty and entertaining Toast tae the Lassies concluding with some of Burns tunes played on the piano. Mrs. Estelle Nicoll was very much equal to the task of replying on behalf of the Lassies concluding her toast in verse. There was some fine singing and fiddling from Bryony MacGregor and her sister Allison Dunlop with Alex MacIntyre providing music on the accordion and Raymond Kennedy giving a rousing set on the pipes. Jim Aitken narrated the tale of "Tam O` Shanter" in his own inimitable style and Ian Bett`s rendition of "Sic a Wife as Willie had" was sternly rebuked by Pam Fyffe while Jimmy Swan recited the poem he had published in the last edition of the Crier. An excellent evening concluded with the company singing the Star  O` Rabbie Burns and trysting to meet again on the 3rd February 2018.

Abernethy Primary School Scots Verse competition.

There was once again some excellent performances at this event sponsered by the Burns Club. In the section for primaries 4/5 the winner was Dean Thorne closely followed by Lucy Craig and Lauryn MacNeil. The competition was even stronger in primaries 6/7 when the judges were unable to separate Eilidh Donnachie and Alex Cook and they will share the Burns Club of Abernethy Shield and  Sophie Allan was a very close 3rd.

Eilidh went on to further success at the Perth Burns Club`s School festival open to all schools in Perth and Kinross when she won the Ruth Lumsden Quaich  open to pupils in primary 6/7  for her recitation of the Address to the Haggis and then went on to win the Presidents Prize for the best performance of a Burns Poem at the event . Alex Cook was also complimented by the adjudicator for coming a very close second to Eilidh.

Ian Bett

MARCH 2018

Burns Supper 2018

The Annual Burn’s supper was held on Saturday 3rd, February in the Williamson Hall.

President Ian Bett opened the evening with his usual wit and enthusiasm.

The packed hall was served up a delicious meal laid on by Heaven Scent from Kinross. The haggis was piped in by Jamie Stewart, a very accomplished young piper and Susan Swan, not so young, played the part of Poosie Nancy. The haggis was addressed with style and gusto by another young lad from the village, Alex Cook. A very interesting Immortal Memory was presented by Peter Hill from Dunblane Alistair Robinson toasted the Lassies, he has women well worked out. His wife Lesley replied with no holds barred. Tam O’ Shanter is always looked forward to by all and they were not disappointed. Bill Maddox from Dundee, with audience participation, fulfilled that task admirably. Alex McIntyre, with his accordion, played at different times throughout the evening. Donald Paton, Perth, Ellen Pennie, Dunblane, Irene Macfarlane, Kinross and Jim Lawson from Errol also performed throughout the night.
A guid nicht wis had by all.

Abernethy School’s Poetry Competition

At the School Scots Verse competition held on 25th January the overall winner and recipient of the Burns Club of Abernethy Shield was Alex Cook. Joint runners up were Eilidh Donnachie and Paddy Trotter with Daisy Heenan from primary 6 in third place. Well done to all the 69 pupils who took part, the highest number since the competition began. In the afternoon the pupils organised their own Burns lunch and four members of the Burns club along with the children’s guests were invited to attend. The children served up a fine traditional Burns meal and then went on to entertain their guests with an excellent  and full programme of speeches, recitations, songs, music and dancing, Well done to everyone who contributed to this fine afternoon.

Perth Burns Club

At the Perth Burns Club annual school festival Heather Rodger from Abernethy had a successful afternoon winning the Windyedge Bowl for singing and the Graham Thomson Rosebowl for fiddle playing, well done Heather. Alex Cook also had very high marks with both his Burns and Soutar recitations.

MARCH 2019


The club held its 15th annual Burns Supper on Saturday 9th February when members and guests again enjoyed a full night of traditional Burns fare.

An amusing and informative  Immortal Memory was delivered by the Reverend Alex. Shuttleworth and well received by an appreciative audience.

Local young talent was to the fore with excellent performances from Lucy Jamieson on the pipes, Heather Rodger on the fiddle and Alex Cook with his recitations. Members Bill and Sarah Millar gave an amusing and well researched Toast to the Lassies and Reply while singers Janet and Bob Crowe were in good voice with some of our favourite songs of the bard. Donald Paton, President of the Burns Club of Vancouver, delivered a stirring recitation of “Tam O’ Shanter”.

A not quite 30 young Susan Swan was again our “Poosie Nancy” carrying in the haggis with grace and elegance. Members’ poems were read from Jimmy Swan, Bob Macdonald and Jimmy Calderwood to rapturous applause –– well nearly.

The evening concluded with the company singing the “Star O’ Rabbie Burns” before joining hands to sing “Auld Lang Syne” and trysting to meet again on 1st February 2020.

Ian Bett

MARCH 2021


You will all know by now that the club did not hold its annual supper in February due to Covid 19.

However, we hope to hold an event in the late summer if the restrictions have been eased by then.

Hopefully by February 2022 everything will be back to a kind of normal and our annual event will re-convene.

Jimmy Swan (Sec.)

December 2021

The committee of the Burns Club of Abernethy have made the decision not to have a supper in February 2022. The covid-19 situation continues to be so fluid, making it very difficult to chance booking caterers and artists. I hope you will appreciate it was a difficult decision to make but we feel it is the correct one.

We hope to hold the club AGM in the spring of 2022.

We would like to wish all our members a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Jimmy Swan