Paddy Belton writes, in his inimitable style, "The Young Stationers had haggis, and it was offal. Liveryman Haggis—and Court Assistant Michael Binyon OBE—joined the Young Stationers, Master Ian Locks, and the Master’s Lady Valerie Locks, both bedecked in tartan, for Burns Night on Monday, 19 January, at (naturally) the Caledonian Club.
Court Assistant Binyon addressed the haggis in Russian (see below), reprising his party piece at the British Embassy from his days as The Times’s Moscow correspondent, when Red Army generals brushed shoulders with impeccably-besuited Brits over bashed neeps and whisky — a story he recounted in proposing the Immortal Memory.
46 Young Stationers came, which was a healthy herd of haggii. YS chairman Paddy Belton translated Michael’s Address into Scots from the original Russian.
A Scottish Royal Navy lieutenant gave the Selkirk grace, and new Freemen Mahmoud Warriah and Richard Knights charmed the lassies with their rhymed praises (accompanied by a series of signs informing the lassies of their telephone numbers and that they were indeed single).
The Young Stationers were able to borrow an 1806 edition of Burns’s poems, which sat precariously near to their whisky during dinner, and from which they read favourite Burns lyrics, before their piper led them in an enthusiastic chorus of Auld Lang Syne. This Burns dinner may indeed be haggis-forming."
The Young Stationers’ next events include a dinner in Balliol College, Oxford, on 5 February; one in the House of Lords on 23 February where the speaker will be their host Lord Balfe; and a St Patrick’s Day charity dinner at the Garrick. You will find these events listed on Facebook here, and Google Groups here.