Lamlash club receives Burns book with Arran link
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An extremely grateful recipient, Douglas Auld, current president of the Lamlash Burns Club, recently received a book of the Complete Works of Robert Burns.
The vintage tome was gifted to the club by Audrey Currie, whose late husband Bill was an avid Burns enthusiast and spoke often at the club’s annual Burns Supper events in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Explaining the reason for the gift, Audrey said: ‘Bill sadly passed away in June 2020 and since then I’ve been through things, like you do in such circumstances, and rediscovered the book.
“Although Bill was the one who could recite a wide range of Burns’ prose verbatim at a glance, the book actually came from my side of the family.
“I believe it belonged to my great-grandfather, so it may be 200 years old.
“Rather than letting him sit and gather dust, I realized there couldn’t be a better home for him than the club Bill was so proud of.
“He would disappear every end of January on the pretext that he was toasting girls or talking to haggis, so I’m sure he would be very happy with my decision.
“He was also a member of the very informal Ormidale Burns Club, which met at the Ormidale Hotel and whose elite participants were also members of the Lamlash Club.
“Hopefully they can find a suitable use for it.”
Originally from Arran, Bill (known as Billy on the island) met Aberfeldy-born Audrey when they were both working at the Douglas Hotel in Brodick in the summer of 1951 and they duly married at Brodick Church in March 1955.
The happy couple moved away from Arran as Bill continued his highly successful career in the hotel and restaurant business, while raising four sons and eventually settling in East Horsley in Surrey in 1981.
Their love of the island, however, never waned and as the boys grew older they vacationed in Brodick each summer, usually staying with Bill’s brother Stewart and his wife Alison.
Their last visit to Arran together was in 2015 to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary and they stayed at the Douglas Hotel.
The book was given to Douglas Auld by Bill and Audrey’s son, also Douglas, while he was visiting Arran for a holiday with his wife Siegi in April.
Douglas explained, “When my mum heard we were coming to the island, she asked me if I wanted to take the book and meet Douglas Auld to deliver it in person. It was a pleasure to do this, as I am very proud of my Arran roots and to be able to do something that could possibly further strengthen our family’s bond with such a magical place was an honor.
A delighted Douglas Auld enthused: “The Lamlash Burns Club is very honored that Audrey has donated Burns’ artwork to the club.
“I never met Bill, but I have been reliably informed that he was a very passionate Burns devotee and a wonderful performer of many Burns songs and poems. The 458-page tome will take pride of place at our annual dinners for years to come.
Billy Currie toasting the lassies at The Auchrannie on January 24, 2004. No_B24Burns01
Douglas Auld, president of the Lamlash Burns Club, accepts Douglas Currie’s book. No_B24Burns02