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The Dunfermline United Burns Club

Some historical notes

The first Burns Club in Dunfermline was the HAGGIS CLUB which began on 25th January 1812 and continued until 1820 when it was dissolved and a new club formed. The DUNFERMLINE BURNS CLUB came into existence on 26th January 1820.

Very soon there were at least 3 Burns Clubs in Dunfermline including the DUNFERMLINE BURNS THISTLE CLUB, JUNIOR HAGGIS CLUB, and the DUNFERMLINE BURNS CLUB. In 1847 the Junior Haggis Club felt that "it would add more to the hilarity of their meetings if they could with propriety be united into one". The latter two clubs merged to form the UNITED BURNS CLUB OF DUNFERMLINE.

The 100th anniversary of Robert Burns' birth (25.1.1859) was marked by a day's holiday in Dunfermline and the Club Minute book records that: "many of the public places were decorated with flags and evergreens and the streets were crowded with joyous and happy parties - the bells rang such a peal that mony a year hadna seen the like." At
3 o'clock The United Burns Club marched with a band from the Queen Anne Street Hall carrying their regalia of bannerets, snuff horns, and cups.

The Minute Book that covers the early years of the 20th century has been lost so it is not clear when Sir Alexander Gibb became President of the Club, although he certainly was in 1921 when he made his gift of the Murison collection to Dunfermline.

In 1934 "ladies" were invited to the Anniversary Dinner.

The Second World War interrupted the Club's activities and no meetings were held between 1941 and 1945.

In 1956 the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, then Lord Bruce, was appointed President of the Club, thus he will be celebrating his
45th anniversary in May 2001. Lady Elgin was the Club's first lady Honorary Vice President.

Fiona MacLachlan was appointed Secretary in 1994. She is the first lady member to hold office in the Club, taking over from John Torrie who resigned as secretary after 23 years. "This was the first occasion on which a lady member had held office in the Club, and the Committee congratulated itself for having resisted this for 182 years!"

(compiled from F MacLachlan's notes from the Minute Books, Jan 2001)